Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why I Don't Ski

After spending just about four months in Salt Lake City, my family has once again relocated. Since we're still in Utah, I'm still being asked Utah-esque questions. Although it's unlikely that the people in my area will find my blog, I figured I might as well answer the two most prominent questions in public.

1. Who's your team? Utes or BYU?


I don't follow sports. Football, basketball, cricket, origami, I don't watch it. Sorry to disappoint.

2. Do you ski or snowboard?

Again, neither.

This question incites a much larger span of negative reactions.  Apparently it is held in public opinion that if you live within 45 minutes of a ski resort, you have to do one or the other. On top of this, since apparently skiers and snowboarders have a Capulet-Montague relationship, being on the fence about the matter is the eighth deadly sin.

Luckily for me, I have an appropriate explanation for my situation.

It all started in the fifth grade.

I attended an elementary school in Salt Lake, and as part of the fifth grade tradition, we were preparing for the "Fifth Grader Ski Trip." This particular field trip was held in high reverence; it was only mentioned in hushed tones, and though we were young, we concentrated solely on the topic at hand when it was brought up.

In preparation, we held several "classes," educating us about the proper skiing rules, techniques, etiquette, equipment, safety guidelines, and so forth. We would practice endlessly putting on and taking off the boots, review the correct ski position to brake, and most importantly to our badly paid teacher, where to meet at the end of our excursion.

After my parents and I triple checked the check-list of necessary materials for the trip, I was taken to school. My teacher must have had the same mindset as my parents, because she counted every single one of my classmates three times. Finally, we all loaded onto the fancy shuttle bus (the kind with cushioned chairs, seat belts, drop-down TVs in the ceiling, and for us children of tiny bladders, a restroom) and went off to the ski resort.

Upon arrival, our teacher split us up into different groups, based on previous experience. Us first-timers, about ten of us total, went with our instructor Rob.

Rob was a man, but as I look back, he was probably having his monthly, which isn't even possible. I will put it lightly; he appeared to hate children to the same degree as the Native Americans towards the invading Europeans, though the Native Americans were much more justified in their feelings of resentment. 

Keep in mind that my group had never been skiing before.

The first task that Rob asked of our little group of ten-year-olds was to run over the snow bank without our boots on, grab our boots and skis, and then put them on in under thirty seconds.

After accomplishing this, he required us to ski down the bunny slope.

Without poles.


On one foot.

You may think I exaggerate, but those were the exact requests. Everybody failed miserably, and in response, he expressed his anger in the form of doing all of those in front of our eyes, while yelling at our feeble minds about our inability to accomplish simple tasks. 

Afterwards, he assumed that we were prepared to tackle the giant slope. 

We rode the ski lift for about seven minutes, which seemed to be the highest it could go. All of my classmates got off of the lift flawlessly, sliding on their skis without losing their balance. As soon as my foot touched the ground I fell. I hadn't even been standing on the ground before the thought hit me that my back would be experiencing pain very shortly.

Naturally, I had by then learned that Rob was a jerk, but I hadn't expected him to blatantly laugh at me as I sat there rubbing my back side. He yelled above the sound of concerned passer-bys, "Hurry up! You're falling behind!"

As I cautiously stood, my face burned red as I felt the gazes of onlookers. At least it couldn't get worse.

That was when I hit the ground again.

And again.

And again.

By this time I had given up on life and was contemplating death as I stared up into the falling snow. That monster Rob and the rest of my class were already halfway down the hill by the time I sat up. The cold and frozen tears on my face must have caused me to hallucinate, because I started yelling, "Just go on without me! I'm sure I'll win this race soon!" towards the grey, bleak, dismal void that was Rob's soul.

After an hour of slowly shuffling, falling, getting up again, and starting the process all over, I made it to the bottom of the slope where my teacher was frantically searching the restrooms for the one unaccounted-for child.

I refused to share the reason behind my iced-tear streaked face to my classmates, but I think they figured it out.

After getting home and relaying the whole story to my parents, they angrily called the resort. They sent me a package of free merchandise, a heart-felt apologetic form letter, and an empty written promise from Rob that it would never happen again. 


  1. Jenny Adams McKinneyNovember 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    As I just said to your face directly sitting across the table from me, "What? We never called the resort," to which you responded, "Mom, I have to embellish." There you have it, folks. ;)

  2. This is a public forum... I think that comment destroys public relation confidentiality.