So Bill still hadn’t ditched me by lunchtime, and he said that we were going to have to get on the chair lift to meet my family for lunch. My heart was filled with terror…the legendary chair lift. We pretended we were on the lift and practiced for a while, and then I had to face the real one. Much to my surprise I was able to get on the chair lift without incident. When we got to the top, I gracefully hopped out and would have glided away had I not fallen straight on my face. OK, stuff happens, but the important thing was that we made it to the restaurant. I was rather pleased with myself when they came in and realized I’d made it. I stomped around the restaurant in my boots as if that was something I did all the time. I pretented to talk ski talk like I was an old pro. And I didn’t fall during lunch!
But then my family headed out in different directions and it was just me, Bill, and the mountain. And about 300 other people on skis and snowboards whooshing right by us. Bill said he noticed how close I am with my niece, and asked if I used to sing to her when she was a baby. I told him I did. What did I sing? Oh I don’t know, stuff like Mary had a little lamb. He asked me to start singing it and I was mortified—my “singing” could be registered as a lethal weapon. But Bill didn’t care; it was time to ski and sing. We started gliding down the slope as I was singing about Mary and her lambs at the top of my lungs. Ooops! I wasn’t paying attention and had skied halfway down the slope, and upon realizing that I promptly got off balance and fell. After Bill managed to get me upright and ready to go, he started asking me questions about my niece and nephews. I gabbed and gabbed and then realized I had made it down the rest of the slope. Bill clearly knew how to distract me and let my instincts take over. We were right at the bottom when I fell again. All in all not too bad.
Before I knew it I was back on the chair lift, and once again fell on my face trying to get out of the thing. OK, so a few falls here and there. I had two skis strapped on and so far Bill hadn’t ditched me; good stuff. When we started back down for the second time, my nephew Craig saw me and came whizzing by me; then he turned around and skied back up the slope. Seriously, who has that kind of energy, especially in the thin air at our escalation? This is why I’ve written the other 2 kids out of the will. What have they done for me lately? Craig cheered me on for a bit and then zig zagged over to some kind of double double black diamond slope marked with a skull and crossbones or something.
Early in the day Bill told me there would come a point where I needed to fall and I should just go for it. I didn’t understand but he said I would when it happened. As I finished my second run down the slope, I somehow started sliding left and was headed directly for the big hole at the base of the chairlift. They had yellow plastic stuff up as a barrier, but that was definitely not going to contain me. So I did it, just closed my eyes and threw myself right down on the ground.
It was my last fall and I realized I had really and truly skied that day. The theme to Rocky was playing in my head as I strolled down to the shop to return my boots and skis. It was a mighty fine day on the slopes.