Disclaimer/warning: there is a rant buried in here somewhere, mainly bought on by not being able to participate in our skiing trip due to a non-bendy ankle. Those of a delicate disposition should not read on past the first few paragraphs.
The day after Boxing Day started with a flight to Denver and a drive up into the snowy mountains. America is a country of such contrasts. You can fly for 4 hours and only be halfway across the county, but be in such a different place. You are still surrounded with all the familiar trappings of daily lives – the same road signs, the same Advil package on the shelves, the same holiday coffees at Starbucks. But wouldn’t it be great to meander slowly across the country getting to know the various areas underneath all the similarities? How to live in the cold, the heat, the altitude, by the oceans, in a big city, in a small community – each one with slightly different foods, accents and stories. The vastness and huge number of places here to explore and get to know is overwhelming and inspirational.
So I am sitting in the cafeteria of the ski resort on our first day of our skiing trip not being able to participate due to a dodgy ankle that has sidelined me since August, enviously watching all the colourful comings and goings outside. It appears that I am not alone, other non-skiers are ranting to their more mobile partners callously expounding how wonderful it is out there. Bloody freezing more like if you ask me. In reality if I was out there, I would not be carelessly flying down the hill, effortlessly skimming over bumps and expertly avoiding others. Most likely I would be carefully snowplowing my way down a frozen cold mountain, trying to ignore increasingly numb feet. More confident people would be hurtling past me, unknowingly forever cursed by my hunched over, tensed form as they catch me dangerously off balance.
I was quite surprised that I managed to make it to the bottom of the hill. I was grimly always determined to do so, but was never aided by my available muscles being so tightly clenched that it was a surprise that they ever relaxed again. Somewhere on the way down I would solemnly convince myself that this was my last run. This resolution always somehow faded with the approach of the end of any particular descent of terror, general cursing and all round hating of the more enthusiastic of the human race around me. I would suddenly find an ounce of confidence and would be able to turn my very unrelaxed snowplow across the hill into a ‘bugger it’ moment. During this epiphany my frozen legs and feet would suddenly, and briefly, take orders from my brain, untangle and become in a previously unknown coordinated state and allow me to whizz in a semi-confident manner to the arms of the waiting ski lift.
Unfortunately the feeling would quickly fade after another freezing ascent coupled with a totally humiliating disembarking that would heat up my face temporarily. And in case you are thinking about cozy piling on ski lifts, coupled with laughing friends happily descending the slopes together, creating wonderful memories to be relived ad-infinitum. Never happens… I am too slow to ski with and have long been resigned to making my solitary way down the hill.
On a more cheery note, just been to check on the boy in ski school. As always he is happy surrounded by his peers and is busily practising riding the magic carpet and perfecting his snow plow. Totally unlike his mother, it looks as if he is not going fast enough in that configuration – we shall see.
The coffee shops of Breckenridge await me and my mac – apparently it is too cold to sensibly waddle from place to place dressed in itchy, sweaty layers…
Damn that rabbit hole and the slow healing of wrenched ankles – it has all caused me to lose my Christmas Cheer far too early. Blooming apartment only has a nod towards Christmas too in the shape of the tiny tinsel tree we packed with us.
Bah Humbug indeed…
Addendum – our second day here and I am in the apartment by myself with a horrible cold – the holiday joy goes from strength to strength