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Adventures in skiing yield more falls than fruits

Over spring break, while many of you were having the time of your lives in exotic locations where the local dress code is nothing but sand, I was in Colorado trying to kill myself - I mean, learning to ski.

Skiing consists of putting an extremely slick piece of graphite on each foot and hurling yourself down an icy mountain while grasping sharp metal poles in your hands. I think this activity is actually number two on the "List of Top Ten Activities Designed To Kill Participants and Innocent Bystanders," the number one activity being drunk swing dancing with chainsaws on a tightrope. And don't worry, if you don't kill or maim yourself on your first trip down the mountain, you can get right back up and do it repeatedly until someone at least swallows a couple of teeth.

To go skiing in 20 degree weather, you have to begin by putting on every piece of clothing you have ever owned, including those lame T-shirts you haven't worn in 10 years that say things like, "Disco's Back!, and "I'm not overweight -- this t-shirt adds 30 pounds."

I couldn't even figure out how to carry my skis correctly, much less go down a mountain on them. When I got on the shuttle to the lift, I didn't know what I was doing at all. So I carefully placed my skis in the eye of the person behind me.

After I was locked into my skis until death did we part, I had to get on the ski lift. For inexperienced skiers, mistakes on the lifts inevitably occur. You may fall while you're getting off and cause the lift operator to stop the entire lift. You then will crawl away, leaving your dignity in a puddle behind you while hundreds of skiers stuck on the stationary lift will be shouting encouraging words like, "I'm gonna' stab you in the crotch with my pole!" However, a mistake on the lift could be something less painful such as a 30-foot fall to your icy death. But don't worry, that only happens to two or three people ... per year ... per ski resort.

The toughest thing about being an adult just learning how to ski is that you have to watch a myriad of toddlers speed by you. I don't know how these kids learned to ski so young. They can't even eat solid food yet, but they can nail the moguls. On several instances, I'd be sitting on my ass after a fall, and some infant would ski up to me and try to give me advice on what I was doing wrong.

But the kids weren't old enough to talk yet. They'd say things like, "Yuz, yuz, gotta' get, get go, yuz slippidy da boom."

I'd respond, "Thanks kid. I'll keep that in mind."

The names of the beginner slopes also make it embarrassing for an adult to be there. They have names like, "Fluffy Bunny Hill," or "Mount You Suck." As I got better, meaning I spent more time on my feet than on my face, I was able to go down the more challenging slopes.

The difficult slopes are denoted by extremely disturbing names, such as "Ordeal," "Certain Death" and "Is That Part of My Tibia Stabbing Through My Blood Soaked Ski Pants?"

I soon became a better skier because I took ski lessons from well-trained professionals who spend their entire winters hitting on hot ski chicks. However, it was hard to learn anything because the instructors spoke in a ski language which to me made no sense. They would say things like, "On a groomed slope you can carve across the hard-pack much easier than if you're traversing through fresh powder." In an attempt to give some intelligent feedback, I'd say, "My problem is that if I apply pressure to my outside ski with my edges carved inward while doing an uphill christie, I tend to wet myself."

Overall I did have fun, and as far as I can tell I survived the entire five days (unless Death just hasn't had a chance to collect my earthly soul yet). I will also go skiing again for the same reason lab rats that get shocked for eating cheese continue to eat the cheese. Wait a second, does that mean I'm going skiing again because I like cheese? I'm confused.


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