On Life and Love

Ski Free

SkiFree was such an integral part of my childhood gaming experience that I couldn’t resist an offer to go skiing for a weekend at Sugar Mountain in Boone, NC. Greg, Deana, Meg, and I stayed in sleepy Blowing Rock (awesome food!) in a cozy little inn/motel.

Unfortunately, I was sick. Quite sick. Snotting and coughing and sneezing. All the classics.

When we arrived at Sugar Mountain on Saturday morning, I was feeling distinctly unathletic. A cold plus asthma generally makes for chill time. Deana was like, “No, no. Skiing isn’t really athletic. You’ll be fine.”

Okay, then!

As I watched people stomp around on their skis, I also got increasingly worried for my shoulder. My pain had generally been at a workable, low level for the month before, but all that poking and pushing with the ski-sticks (technical term!) could present a shoulder endurance problem. By the time we were filling out forms, I’d talked myself out of skiing, but was totally up for tubing.

The ladies (and Greg, although he backed off), made such a fuss about me not participating that I caved and shelled out the moola for skiing. I got fitted for all the shoes and such–the skis were much shorter than I expected–and we hobbled outside.

Greg and I? Never skied before.

Greg? Decided that instead of worrying about lessons, we’d try experimentation first.

By the time experimentation was over, I was sitting over on the deck crying and Greg was limping with a bad knee. We never left the bunny slope.

That was January 21, and my shoulder really hasn’t stopped hurting again since then.

So what happened? Well, Greg kept falling. And then trying to get up. Then falling again. Deana was coaching him, but is physically structured quite differently from Greg, so her directions didn’t really work for his weight distribution. His already barely recovered knee (he twisted it a week before) gave up the ghost.

I, once again, found a child in my path. Oh, snap, a kid! How do I stop? No clue! I’ll just sit down. (Even in retrospect, it’s not a bad idea.)

Protip: pick up the ski-sticks when you sit down.

My left stick stuck in the ground and wrenched my arm/shoulder back as I fell. Once I was down, I had to get back up, which involved a one-handed ski/boot disconnect procedure (with no leverage from planting my bad arm/hand) that made me want to scream in frustration, because at that point I was in the way of other skiers.

Greg and I spent the rest of the day chilling around the resort while Meg and Deana skied.

Everything else about the trip was awesome. Knight’s on Main makes a mean omelette, and Melanie’s stuffed french toast and home fries made me want to move in. Plus, Melanie’s had the best/smoothest coffee refills that I’ve ever experienced. I think I had 5 cups, but my mug never completely emptied.

The nighttime entertainment still makes me giggle. Twigs was within walking distance of the inn, and was the only place in Blowing Rock open after 22:00 on a Friday. (As I said, sleepy town.) What we encountered there was a live country/folk band and a lady who was amazingly drunk and flirty, and prone to trying (!) to grind. To country music. Not really our scene, but quite giggle-worthy.

Our Saturday night visit to Boone’s Char was a smidge less entertaining, because the DJ wasn’t very good. Major collegiate scene, though, which made me feel about 102 years old. Lots of people doing grindy dancing, which prompted an interesting observation of homophobia. Several gents in the club were play-dancing with each other in humpy/grindy ways, then laughing and playing it off in a very “no homo” sort of way. …But there were a lot of women there. (Who, ironically, were dancing with each other in a “come hither” way.) So… why not just dance together and be cool with that, or “go therether” after the ladies?

We got our dance on a bit, but left relatively early due to my cold and the bad music.

The rest of the trip was shopping and more shopping, including the purchase of nice, smelly soaps.

I like soap.

We’ll definitely go back out there some weekend when I’m not sick, although likely for hiking. Despite having not lived in Texas for the last 13 years, I still have the “there’s nothing geographically interesting within six hours of me in any direction” syndrome that is patently false in North Carolina. Four hours east can get you to a beach. Two-ish hours west can get you to a mountain. Either direct is just a weekend trip, and I’ll be doing more of those.