Saturday, November 7, 2009

Life's Embarrassing Moments

I wrote this up a few months ago, and thought I'd share it with you all. It's a little long, and I hope you can visualize it while you read it. This is our view of the mountain I'm talking about.

I was 14 years old and my high school ski club had gone snow skiing at Holiday Hill (now Mountain High) in Wrightwood California. I'd never skied, but was excited to learn. After a class for beginners, we were all anxious to get started. I felt I was catching on and each time I came down the hill I went a little higher up the hill the next time. However, I had not mastered stopping at the bottom of the hill.

Coming down one time I was picking up speed...and heading straight for a line of people waiting to go back up the hill. They were standing behind a rope connected by two poles. I crouched down trying to get below the rope, but now I was completely out of control, not knowing how to ski in a crouched position (okay, I didn't really know how to ski in an upright position either). I didn't get down low enough and my neck caught on the rope. Of course I was in motion, so the rope, the poles, and the entire line of people came down with me. Seriously, the entire line.

I was very embarrassed, but I soon realized that I'd ended up near the front of the line, so I jumped up and got on, since everyone else there was also slightly confused. What happened next is proof that you should never take cuts in line!

This was not a chair lift, but it was a disk, which you pulled down and rode, with your skis going along on the ground. When you got as far up the mountain as you wanted to go, you simply slid off, and the disk went back up on something like a cable or spring. (Are you getting the picture?) You were supposed to be careful not to put your entire weight on this disk, but just ride it, holding on lightly. I however, was a little confused already and I made the mistake of putting my weight on it and trying to ride it. I only weighed about 100 lbs., but apparently that was too much. My bottom slid off, and as it did, my skis and poles got tangled up in the disk. Now I was riding along on my bottom, my arms, poles, legs and and skis straight up above me, stuck in the disk, and it seemed this lift was moving along at an ungodly speed.

I couldn't get myself untangled, and I'm sure the sight must
have been hilarious, but I was scared to death because I knew that if I didn't get off before I reached the top of what had now become an enormous mountain, I'd be hanging in the air when it headed back down on the other side. I started screaming for them to stop this thing, but they didn't. I'm not sure the operator knew what was happening, or maybe he was secretly a little thrilled to see this girl hanging there, the one that had just sent his entire line into such disarray. Finally, right before I reached the top I got myself unattached to the disk, counting my blessings that I didn't die on that thing. Now, I just had to get back down the hill, and from a much higher point than I'd ever been before.

It must
have taken me about 10 minutes to get my bindings back on (this was before the day of step-in bindings), but I finally did, and began my descent down the hill. Again, going down was not too much of a problem, but as I got to the bottom, I realized that I was headed straight for the same rope, poles and line of people I'd knocked down minutes before! This was too much; you really think you can die from embarrassment when you're 14. Stopping was something I just couldn't master, so again I crouched down, not knowing what else to do. I got lower this time,(my neck still smarting from the last time) and the people in the line saw me coming, so they separated, and I went under the rope and through the line, not knocking down a single person! I was thrilled....for a second. I was still not in control, and didn't know how to stop. Beyond the line was another little hill and then the parking lot. However, standing on the little hill, and directly in my path, was a lady.... with her back to me.

I did finally stop when I hit the parking lot, and the lady that had been standing in my path was now flat on her back, thanks to me. As I got up and went to check on her, I realized it was my typing teacher, one of the sponsors of the ski club! I apologized profusely, and while I'm sure she was a bit sore, she encouraged me not to give up on skiing, although I probably should've.

I went immediately to find someone who could teach me how to STOP.

I haven't been skiing in quite a few years, but I did finally learn to ski comfortably, and I have kids that snowboard on that same mountain :-) It makes for a funny story to tell, and it also makes you realize that there are some REALLY good things about growing up BEFORE the days of "America's Funniest Home Videos".



  1. You crack me up! I could picture the whole trip! You are very brave - I could never even attempt to ski - jump out of a plane, yes - but ski? thank you!

    Love you & your family Marcia....XOXO

  2. Oh my...that is like a nightmare that you can't wake up from!


    Glad you survived and went on to ski again.

    Becky K.

  3. That scared me and I was just reading about it!

    I have never skied.. I am a big chicken. :)

  4. I feel the same way about my old pictures too! ;] Loved the skiing story, I also ski but have had a similar thing happen to me. I found myself on the hardest mougle hill..I finally had to take my ski's off and walk down it, I was so in a daze, never been so scared! Come say hi :D

  5. Hi Marcia,
    Thank you for stopping by Cackleberry Cottage and sharing the name of the flower! Your story is too funny! I have never snow-skiied. I do water-ski though.
    You have a beautiful family. I'm looking forward to stopping by again.

  6. OMG that was so funny. SO glad you stopped by so I would not miss that post. I'm not a good skier either. ALL my friends were...not sure what happened with me?
    You're lucky only your pride was hurt:)lol

  7. Thanks for coming by and saying hi today. Funny ski story. I live in Utah where we have the greatest snow on earth. At least that's what they say. I don't ski but I make the hot chocolate for those who do. Mimi

  8. Hahaha! The last time I went skiing, I ended up in surgery. But your story is MUCH FUNNIER!!

  9. Hi Marcia and it's so nice to meet you! Oh, what a story! Too bad there weren't bloggers then and digital cameras. We may just have had your special moments immortalized! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  10. What a tale for the family lore! Holy Crow!

    By the way, could your twins be any cuter?

  11. Ohhhhhhh you have helped me to recollect a very SIMILAR skiing experience in my youth...thankfully, mine did not involve the lift...only the trouble stopping part, which ended me...(and ME alone...again, thankfully) plowing through some construction meshing and caution tape and falling into a 4 or 5 foot ravine, lying like a helpless long-legged turtle on its back....Boy, I'm glad to be all grown up, aren't you Marcia?

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG...this was my first of many visits to come!
    God bless and thanks for joining my BENMAKESTEN blog! Your family is BEAUTIFUL...your eldest daughter looks SO MUCH LIKE YOU!

  12. WOW! What a story! That's funny...but scarey, too! I am glad you didn't kill your typing teacher! haha!
    My kids have all been big snowboarders...until we moved to AZ, that is!

  13. oh my goodness - crazy story!!! This is something that i would write about!! We may be kindred fumblers!

  14. I laughed out loud when reading your story! I was never very graceful at that age. I was in gymnastics and my dad use to say I could walk better on my hands than my feet!
    So glad nobody got hurt...only your pride, and that can heal.


  15. O, darlin' girl...I am laughing so so hard at this story because....I can SO relate to nearly ALL of it.
    We lived in Colorado for a short time when our kids were little..learning to ski was a continueous embarrasement for ME. My family did great but i stayed out of control from the time we hit the slopes until we left. The disk (palmalift) just drug me all over the place. I, too, always wanted to put full weight on it. We did have some wonderful times, lots of laughs and I got a few boo-boos...thanks for the memories..

  16. Hi Marcia! Thank you so much for joining my followers list. My mother's name was Marcia and she spelled it exactly the same way that you do! Not the usual spelling for sure. We're having a blog party at Bella Dreams on Dec. 4th and would sure love it if you would join in!

  17. That is so funny! I've had my share of skiing mishaps, too. There's just something about sliding around on two skinny strips of wood that invites comic mayhem!

  18. Hi Marcia, Thanks for letting me know about the 'subscribe to' missing from my blog. I've added it now! That should make it easier!

    Thanks again! Love your blog!


Thanks so much for stopping by :)