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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Memo to Brain from Body

What the hell were you thinking?!

I volunteered to be a chaperon for our church youth group's annual ski trip. I thought it would be a good chance for me to get back on skis. I started skiing when I was 12 and became quite good. I could ski any type of terrain and competed in the occasional slalom race. Aside for the occasional gash to my face, I always enjoyed skiing. The continually escalating price of lift tickets eventually ended my participation. So, after 19 years away from the snow, this weekend would be my triumphant return to the sport.

We arrived at the resort about 7:45 A.M. to go through the process of renting equipment (during the preceding years, I had given up hope of ever returning to the slopes and gave away my skis). I spent a couple of hours getting my kids onto their skis and to the appropriate places at the resort, the beginner lift and the first-timer class. I skied a couple of runs with Dirpette #1 to make sure I still knew how to turn and stop. After I was satisfied that I hadn't forgotten how to ski, I headed to the top of the mountain. I got off the lift and shot past the people looking down the hill with fear on their faces. I flew down the mountain, carving turns right where I wanted, with no difficulty at all. About a quarter of the way down the mountain, I stopped to assess my course. As soon as I stopped, my quadriceps started screaming at me "What the hell do you think you're doing?! We sit at a desk all day!" At least that's how the message translated. The actual untranslated message was in severe cramps in both legs. It was at that point, I realized I was a quarter of the way down a steep mountain and I could hardly stand up.

I managed to tough it out and ski down the rest of the mountain, pausing a few times. I still managed to carve my turns where I wanted, I just had to pause frequently. That was last run of the day. My triumphant return to the slopes ended at 11:15 A.M.

By noon, the next day, I can walk with almost no pain (as long as I keep taking pain killers). When did I get this old?