When I was in 7th grade, my church had a ski trip for all of the junior high kids. So I packed up some of my best buddies, and Mom drove us to our first ski trip (about 20 minutes away on a little hill of a mountain.)
It was amazing. We had so much fun that we did it again the following year.
Of course, the year after that, I was in high school and too cool to do that sort of thing. Also, I was very busy being a cheerleader…and I may have just sprained my ankle for the first time…
So I happily went many years without so much as a thought about skiing. Several years and hundreds of injuries later, I was a sophomore in college. The boys were planning a ski trip over winter break, and I just HAD to go. Mark and Robert were two of my best buddies, and I wanted to play with the big boys.
My mom, of course, was against the whole thing. “You’ll hurt yourself!” Our insurance company had gone bankrupt or something, so we were in between medical insurance policies at the time and Mom knew my history with injuries. At that point, I had sprained both ankles numerous times. I was a walking disaster. They tell me I can’t chew gum and walk up the stairs at the same time…(I can’t chew gum at all anymore because of my TMJ disorder, but that’s beside the point.)
So, being the stubborn 19-year-old college student that I was… I went skiing.
I was happily skiing down the “bunny hill” and going at my own pace. The boys, though, were not pleased with my la-dee-da thought process. They both came packing with their own ski equipment, and wanted to try the “black mountains.” Of course, with their “younger sister” type in tow, they didn’t feel comfortable leaving me all the way on the other side of the resort.
So I agreed to step it up a notch.
I moved to one of the next harder hills, and I was doing just fine. There was a dip in the hill where it was flat, so I could slow down and pace myself. It worked out quite well. Until it didn’t.
Mark was ready to head towards the bar and I was considering taking a break/calling it quits, but I was sort of crushing on Robert at the time, and I thought…if he’s going down once more, I can too. So I told Mark I’d meet him at the bar and I thought Robert was right behind me.
I started going a little too fast…and the break, where I was supposed to slow down? I missed it. I went straight through it.
I started panicking. I lost control.
There was a guy in front of me, going way slower. I screeched, “Get out of the way!!!!”
I thought, and I panicked. The boys had said, “if you need to slow down, turn,” and, “If you feel like you are going to fall, let yourself fall.”
So I did both.
Everything happened so fast. I heard a crack. My left ski popped off. My right ski did not. But my right leg was positioned unusually awkward. My body was in pain. I was cold. I was screaming. I was crying. I couldn’t move my right leg.
The guy I passed turned out to be ski patrol. He came over quickly and called for backup. He took the ski from my right foot. He helped me get myself situated. When the ski patrol jet ski guy came, he helped me onto it.
I rode it up to the medical attention center, where they elevated my knee and iced it. “It was probably a sprain,” they told me. I was in shock. They asked for my friends’ names. I told them. All I could think, though, was she’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.
When Mark and Robert arrived with their heads shaking, my thoughts were now verbalized, “She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.” I probably looked certifiable. I was rocking back and forth repeating the same thing over and over and over again.
And so, we had a strained ride home in a tiny little beater Audi from the 80’s with 2 dudes, 2 sets of skis, and a Chrissy with a bad knee. For like 4 hours. Then I had to drive my ass home the next day with my driving leg not so much working. I learned how to drive with cruise control and my left leg that day.
Mom was not pleased. And I was determined never to ski again. God did not intend me to fly down a mountain on a couple of sticks. But of course, that wasn’t the end of this saga.