Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Non-skier skiing

“Magic carpet” area for newbie skiers with the summit of North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain in the background

I just survived another skiing expedition.

Husband Walter loves to ski, or at least loves the challenge of hitting the slopes for a day every other year or so. He and our sons are well coordinated and athletic. I, on the other hand, can barely manage to walk and talk at the same time.

I enjoy the travel, scenery and general vacationing (you know . . . eating, eating, eating!) that come with a skiing trip. But the ability to enjoy the actual skiing activity has developed over time. I have learned to apply the mantra my eldest son has recited to me periodically: You have to manage expectations.

I will never be a good or even a passable skier. I abandoned that goal. Here are the goals I set for a recent day on Sugar Mountain near Boone, NC:

Goal #1: Don’t cause injury to anyone, myself included.

Goal #2: Don’t plow into any human or any inanimate objects, either natural or manmade. (This goal is not covered by #1. It is not a given that my body will obey my command to stop or steer at any particular moment. Often my body just says “Huh?”)

Goal #3: Keep my sense of humor operating on high.

Goal #4: Have fun.

How did I do? Goals #1 though 4, check, check, check, and check.

Linda prepares to ride the magic carpet.
Don’t I look confident as I prepare to get on that people mover thing the Sugar Mountain Resort folks call the “magic carpet”? It’s in the area reserved for “learners.” Or was that “slow learners”?

I shuffled onto that narrow moving conveyer belt, leaned forward and kept my feet planted according to instructions. About a third of the way up, it stopped. I shifted my weight, moved my ski just a teensy little bit and ackkkk! The conveyer belt started up. I toppled over.

They stopped the thing. The guy who had taken my picture ran out and helped me up, asking me several times if I was hurt. I wasn’t. He also assured me that falls didn’t count in the magic carpet area.

“That’s why it’s called the magic carpet,” he said. And even better, I met goals 1, 2 and 3! I can’t say that the experience met goal #4, but I did accomplish #4 later. Now you can see why I prefer to set manageable expectations for myself. Meeting my goals was as easy as, well, as easy as falling off a log -- or a people mover.

Husband Walter posted about our day skiing here. I’ll be posting more later. Right now, though, I’ve got to go bask in my sense of accomplishment for awhile.


  1. Kudos to you! I've never had the desire to go anywhere to try my hand at snow skiing. You have given me some inspiration :) I'm going to check out Walter's blog now...

  2. You and I are exactly the same!!! Bravo to you for even going on that thing, you are braver then me!!! I have never seen one of those, but it is a good idea. I can't cook and talk at the same time. Now I will tell you something. For our honeymoon, hubby and I went to a ski resort. I'm the clumsiest person alive, I once had to go to the E.R. from an accident resulting from putting my underpants on. Hubby is athletic. We both set off on the skis. I fell immediatly, yelled for him to get those skis off me, and spent the rest of the day in the lodge swilling hot cocoa. Where was hubby? Out skiing, so we got our money's worth!!

  3. Thanks, Kathy! And Ginny, thanks for sharing your skiing experience as well as the reason for trip to the ER! Done my share of swilling hot chocolate, too, while husband Walter was out skiing getting OUR money's worth!

  4. Not learning to ski is one of my bigger regrets. Since I am at the breakable age, it may remain so. Impressed with you for tackling it considering there is the roaring fire and hot drink option.
    That magic carpet looks amazing, if tricky.

  5. Lovely photos - have never tried proper skiing and I guess I am too unbalanced now. Well done for trying and getting on so well.

  6. What will they think of next. Great scenery. I once lived in western NC. Beautiful state. Happy to hear you were unhurt. I have those rules for bicycle riding. Forget the skis. Dianne