Monday, March 27, 2006

My Second Assault on the Mountain....

... and five assaults on a hill.

Seeing as my knees had (seemingly) recovered overnight, I was ready for my second assault on the mountain.  At the very least, I'd wanted to run down the turtle slope (the same run I'd done in class) once or twice without having to stop in the middle for more instructional tips (as we'd done when we were in class).  Then, I planned to "graduate" to the "first time run."

My knees were fine all morning.  They were fine when I put my ski boots back on.  They were fine when I trudged over to the mountain.  They stopped being fine when I walked up the steps to retrieve my skis from the ski valet.  This was (I now realized) the first time I was bending my knees in the ski boots, and it hurt. 

I soldiered on.  Got the skis.  Tightened the boots.  Got on the skis.  Started on down the hill toward the lift.

OK, here's the problem.  The snow down there had gotten way more icy during the day, requiring one to push a lot harder into the snow in order to get any sort of traction (i.e. slow down).  So I was booking on down the mountain faster than I'd intended, and couldn't slow my speed without pushing down on my knees really really hard.  Much knee pain.  Very bad.  What's worse was that I was now at the bottom of the mountain, while the resort was quite a ways back up.  I couldn't figure a way to get OFF the damn thing without riding the lift up and skiing back down (because hiking up the mountain (sideways) was totally out of the question).  And I didn't know how I was going to do this.  So I had me a (patented) mini-breakdown (inconveniently located right in front of the lift line) and started crying and stuff.  So, here comes Peggy who offers to ride the lift up, ski halfway back down, go back into the resort, go into her locker, free my shoes, come back, and ski my shoes down to me.  Then I would be able to walk off the bottom of the mountain (without skis and boots) and carry my skis back on solid ground.  This we did.  I took off my skis and boots and waited (with her husband) for her return.  Once I got outta the boots, my knees felt a lot better.  I might have looked ridiculous walking off the mountain in street shoescarrying my skis and boots ("Pedestrian!  Coming through!"), but at least I got out of there without having to call ski patrol.  :)

Returned my skis to the shop.  ("Have you had enough?"  "I've had more than enough") and came back to the condo.  Skiing is clearly not my sport.  At least, not without some extra knee support.

Later that night, we decided to go tubing.  Tubing is one of those activities that requires no effort on your part for the fun payout, so I was all for it.  We got to the tubing place at about 7:10 -- they closed at 8:00.  They charge $8 for one run down the mountain and $19 for two hours, and we couldn't decide what to do since we didn't know how many runs we'd get in.  The people behind the counter finally resolved this by offering us a one-hour for $9.50 rate. :)

So we ran out and grabbed us some nice inflated tubes.  (Not really inner tubes.  I think these were especially made for the purpose.)  We then rode the tube lift -- that's just a cable that they hook your tube onto by a little attached handle, and you sit in the tube as it rides you up the tubing hill.  When we got to the top of the hill, we tied our tubes together and sailed on down.  After our second run, the guy told us that they were closing soon, and if we moved really really fast maybe we could get in one run on the short hill and another one on the big hill.  Clearly they did not realize our determination to have fun -- we got down the big hill (all five of us tied together) three more times before closing.  The last time we had so much velocity, we went sailing right past the little mats they have set up to slow/stop you, laughing all the way in a big pile of tubes and people.  Way fun.

Got some dinner, then came back and attempted to play some poker.  I'd never played Texas Hold 'Em before (but had watched it on TV) -- and since two folks in our group understood it less than I did, it seemed a good environment in which to learn.  We ended up playing until about 1:00 in the morning, by which time I had everyone's chips in front of me!  (This was not exactly a tribute to my poker playing, as one of the experienced players went "all in" on a bad hand early 'cause he'd wanted to go watch sports onTV, and I'd made a rather big mistake (as dealer) which ended up saving me a loss of a Huge Pile of Chips.)  But still, it was fun, and I Didn't Totally Suck.  :)

1 comment:

hewasolddog299 said...

Get a referral to a good bone doc/joint specialist and make sure there isn't anything wrong with your knees requiring fixing. Then spring for your own boots and have them custom fitted by a professional who knows how to correct for little things like the extreme pronation I suspect you suffer from ... that is what is causing you so much pain, as rental boots are perforce "neutral" in how they are "fitted" (cough, cough).

Also, no time like the present to start thinking about strengthening legs and joints in anticipation of all the wonderful things you are going to do this summer... and actually going to the gym and doing what it will take.

Yes, I know I am an ass. Why do you ask?