I try not to give into unrealistic fears on a regular basis. I drive a car without a thought, take planes cross country without much anxiety, and cross over railroad tracks without praying to God first.
However, I don't go looking for trouble either. I don't walk down dark alleys, drive without my seat belt, sign up for sky diving, or expose myself willingly to dangerous catastrophes like the one we saw in the Sugarloaf ski lift accident yesterday.
Yeah, yeah, But skiing is so fun and blah blah. Frankly, I am afraid of skiing, skis, ski lifts, flying down a mountain faster than any human ever should, and frankly, I find most ski goggles really horrifying.
I've made it 40 years without skiing, and if I don't start now, maybe I'll make it 40 more.
My fear of skiing didn't happen overnight, and yes, it has some basis in reality. In fact, it took a lifetime of Sugarloaf-like skiing horror stories to build the ski terror I hold deep inside. Lucky for me, I live in a part of Northern California where we don't get snow, so I don't even have to see ski racks very often.
So here's, to the best of my memory's ability, the series of events that made me firmly believe that skiing is evil.
- First, there was the snow saucer accident of my youth (no skis involved, but there was speed and an ill-placed "ski jump" and owww, pulled muscles where I didn't even know I had muscles).
- Then, there was my friend's, then a teenager, story about being stuck in a drift in Idaho for hours, unable to climb out because of the softness of the snow (and they were just on cross-country skis!).
- Next came the story from a co-worker -- her teen-aged daughter hit a tree while downhill skiing. She's okay now but there were month's in traction involved.
- Let's not forget the movie Alive about the Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snowy mountains after a plane crash (yeah, they were in the Andes and there were no skis, but I never ever want to be forced to eat a friend of mine).
- Soon after, Sonny Bono. RIP.
- And please no, poor Natasha Richardson. Such a horror story!
- Tree wells, ugh.
- And then yesterday, Sugarloaf where skiers weren't even skiing yet and fell up to 30 feet and got hurt! So glad everyone's okay! Scary!
So, no thank you, skiing. You can keep your cold and slushy and fast and altitude-plunging business. The notion that I'd ever snow ski in this lifetime has long since skied. Downhill and fast. So long!
Are you afraid of skiing?
Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr