Posted by: forgingahead | September 22, 2008

Make Me Laugh Monday

Note: First I want to THANK Sarah of Sarah’s Triathlon Adventure for taking me a on fabulous long bike ride through Sonoma County with her cycling buddies Tim and Lee. I had a GREAT ride and will share some of the highlights tomorrow. Thank you Sarah!!

I’m sporadically trying to keep up with the “Make me Laugh Monday” ritual started (or perhaps borrowed) by my friend jennyonthespot

Perhaps every other Monday is a manageable goal? Here it goes…

My freshman year at UC Davis I was all tangled up in a high school romance that went on months (actually years) longer than it should have. This made me not the most social gal in the dorm.

So at the beginning of my sophomore year (blessedly single) I was determined to be a joiner. I saw a sign for the UC Davis Ski team and having never been downhill skiing I, of course, thought “this is for me.”

I went to the introductory meeting and was immediately swept up into the camaraderie of a super fun group of people who reassured me that this team was a club sport and beginners were most welcome.

The ski season was a blast…I honestly don’t remember much actual skiing except for two incidents…which I’ll get to in a moment. Mostly I remember gathering in the Safeway parking lot at 5am, piling in the van and sleeping most of the way up. Drinking hot chocolate during the day and adding peppermint schnapps to it as the day wore on.

Oh yes, it was a motley crew of kids who took having fun VERY seriously.

One of my most vivid memories of attempting to actually ski was getting suckered onto the back side slope where there were some sizeable moguls. I got about a quarter of the way down and started to cry.

I know, not super funny but there you have it. Those moguls were evil…mean moguls determined to hurt my knees and destroy any shred of confidence I had in being able to get down the hill uninjured. I do believe I finally popped off my skis and slid down on my butt. Not my finest hour.

As a team we held actual races…and since yours truly was NOT going to compete, I kept time at the start. So off I went on the chair lift and settled in at the top of the slope for the day. At the end of which I was faced with a longish hike down a snowy mountain.

Did I mention that I was surrounded by competitive skiers? Men and women who’d been skiing their entire lives and were poetry in motion to watch.

Our club president, Norman, was just such a skier. And he thoughtfully offered me a ride down the hill. On his back. Without poles.

Now I’m 5’9″ and shall we say not fine boned? Norman was about 5’5″ and I figured I’d crush him under normal circumstances. Add a pair of skis into the equation and a snow packed mountain and we were most assuredly doomed.

But Norman insisted. So up I went for my first piggy-back ride in a very long time. And down the hill we went.

It was THRILLING. And I finally understood the sensation of really skiing.

learning new things daily,



  1. You are SOOOOOOOOOO quite welcome! I’m so glad you loved it and can’t wait to do it again! Also, let me know how that taper plan goes…

    As for my comment your MMLM – I cannot even imagine getting a piggyback down a ski slope. I would be truly terrified.

    (oh and yet one more similarity between us – I joined the Cal ski club my freshman year due to that same instant camaraderie I felt at that first meeting…)

  2. That Norman was quite a guy. You just can’t underestimate smallish people. 😉 I wonder what he’s up to now? Funny story Kathleen! I had to chuckle at the picture.

  3. Oh my goodness – this took me back to the 1 time I ever wore skis… I didn’t know how to stop… I eventually just sat my butt down so as not to kill anyone! Oh my goodness, Kathleen! I’ve never seen a piggy-back ride down a hill!

  4. This made me think of my first time skiing. I went to college in colorado. Freshman year in chemistry a friend asked if I wanted to go on a free ski trip. Sign me up. I got free skis, free lodging, free ski pass, free food. When we got to the resort I was told, I was supposed to ‘escort’ the Special Olympic skiers the day before their competition. I figured skiing couldn’t be that hard…. I fall down 3 times in the line for the lift, then again getting off the lift. Now I’m standing at the top of a blue hill at a Colorado ski resort… never having skied before. It took 2 hours to get me down the mountain. The athletes I was supposed to be escorting were the most encouraging people ever. I’ll never forget that day. They were teaching me how to ski. They did a great job, by the end of my second day, I was skiing black diamonds. I was never invited to help out with the Special Olympics again though.

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