I'm going to Lake Tahoe this weekend. I'm gonna be a snow bunny! Ok, maybe not a snow bunny, per se, maybe more like a snow warthog. I think that does a better job of conveying the grace that I possess on snow.
I never learned to ski as a kid. My family didn't really do that whole outdoorsy thing. A more typical vacation for our family would have been to drive frantically from "sightseeing destination" to "sightseeing destination". It was kind of a breadth instead depth approach to recreation. It's probably a blog entry for another day though.
So, I learned to ski as a clumsy college student instead of as a clumsy kid. I never got very good at skiing, but if you stuck me at the top of a hill, I'd eventually get down without shattering a femur or, say, snapping a collarbone.
Eventually my friends nagged me to learn how to snowboard. Snowboarding, for those of you who haven't tried it, is a combination of skiing (which I'm mediocre at), skateboarding (which I'm horrible at), and face-planting (which, apparently, I totally rule at). Consequently, I never developed much overall skill at snowboarding, but it was enjoyable.
On one memorable run at the end of a weekend, I was tired and was face-planting my way down the mountain on one final run, when I took my final fall of the day. When I tried to get up, I was surprised to note that my right arm didn't move so well. I'm not one of those guys who is really "in touch with their bodies", so I tried to shake it off and continue face-planting down the hill, but I could barely stand up, let alone ride a snowboard.
As it turns out, I had landed on my right shoulder and snapped my collarbone. The ski patrol guys took me down the hill on one of those sledding gurneys and we then made our way to a local urgent care facility to see a doctor.
I had never broken a bone before. Not a leg, or an arm, or a finger, or a toe, so I don't have a lot to compare this to, but I'll say this: If you only break one bone this year, make it your collarbone. Broken collarbones don't require a cast. If you work a deskjob, you can continue to work at it. AND, you get a big bottle of Vicodin with each broken collarbone. Vicodin won't make the pain go away, but you just don't care. Ahhhh, sweet Vicodin.
Anyways, I haven't been skiing or snowboarding since then. It's not so much that I fear breaking another bone, but it just hasn't worked out, mostly because we have a kid now. Trips to Lake Tahoe were always lots of fun, but lots of effort too. There's all the gear, and the hours of driving, and the traffic. All that work made the trip BARELY worthwhile. Now that we have a kid, the effort outweighs the fun. The whole concept of a ski trip just smacks of effort. Man, I love that phrase. Really, it smacks of effort.
I feel the same way about camping. Camping used to be lots of work, followed by (lots + 1) of fun. Now that we have a child, it's more like (lots + 2) of work, thus no longer making the trip worthwhile.
I have, however, been talked into this trip, which is partially to celebrate a friend's birthday, and so it shall be. Tomorrow we depart for Lake Tahoe. I look forward to regaling this blog with tales of Vicodin gobbling and effort smacking.