Posted by: GeekHiker | February 18, 2008

Skiing Fool

(In which The GeekHiker makes a complete fool out of himself… again…)

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I went up to the mountains, up to the white fluffy stuff, to exchange my trustworthy hiking boots for a pair of ski boots and attempt downhill skiing.

Did I do this because I’m always one willing to try new things? To explore sports and activities that I haven’t tried before, to broaden and expand my horizons?

Hell no. I did it because a pretty girl wanted to go. Duh.

I’d met her on the group trip from last week (first post coming hopefully tomorrow, now that I finally got the pictures off the camera), and when she said she wanted to try downhill skiing, I naturally (and stupidly) said “Sure, I’d like to try that too.”

Arriving at the top of the chair lift at Mt. Baldy Ski Resort, we headed for the rental center and got our equipment. This involved getting sized for a pair of ski boots, which I learned is the rough equivalent I learned of placing your feet into cast iron boots a half size too small and wearing them for the rest of the day.

Yes, I know men are often accused of thinking with their groins, but having one’s blood forced up into the upper body while losing all sensation below the knee is another matter altogether.

This was then followed by a lesson. As she had skied once before and could do a good sort-of turn, the girl was sent off with the intermediate group, whereas I was sent over to the absolute newbies section. Which was a crowd of small children. None over three feet tall.

Needless to say, this was doing absolute wonders for my sense of manhood.

So there I am, the girl is gone, and I’m standing next to a row of small children who, being more flexible and likely to bounce, were no doubt going to do much better than me. They also cheat, what with having a lower center of gravity and all.

Ah, the joy of youth. They’re fearless and having tons of fun in the snow, whereas I’m calculating what kind of health insurance premium I’m going to rack up by the end of the day.

Thankfully, I was saved when I was assigned my own instructor, thus granting me my own private lesson and sparing me the, uh, joy of running over small children while flying out of control down the terrifyingly steep (five degree) slope.

I spent the next hour learning (well, “learning” is a relative term here) how to move forward (easy), stop (nearly impossible), make turns (ha ha ha) and fall down (so easy that this, as it turns out, was my best skill of all).

The instructor and I then proceeded to the “easier” slope. Unfortunately, given the geology of Southern California, the “easier” slope is a terrifying 15-20 degree slope from hell.

I proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes skiing attempting-to-ski falling down over and over again down the hill. The really fun part is that I learned that when I attempt to stand up, my outer thigh muscle tends to cramp (its way, I think, of saying “What the hell are you doing to me?), necessitating taking off the skis, standing up, and putting the skis back on.

Then watching my skis slide out from under me and falling again immediately. Repeat until thoroughly bruised.

Finally, there was a the chair lift back up to the top (because humiliating fun isn’t really humiliating fun unless it’s repeatable) and gracefully exiting the chair ramp on the piece of polished glass solid ice at the top. If, of course, you interpret “gracefully exiting” as falling on one’s ass, but at least managing to do it out of the way of the next ski lift chair of decapitation.

Next up was meeting up with the girl, and taking a breather at a much needed lunch, in which I tried to drown my pain in a semi-warm, massively overpriced… well… I guess you could call it a burger…

Lunch eaten, it was back out to the bunny slope for a few more runs. Well, she did a few more runs. I did maybe two. Tops.

I’m sure this just impressed the hell out of her, particularly as I discovered through the day new and exiting ways to fall, the vast array of positions a pair of skis can twist one’s legs into when falling, and the amazing number of muscles that can be pulled in the process, a number of which I never knew existed before.

Fortunately, as the day wore on, the slope became more and more icy. This means that I was able to ski-fall down the slope (the covering of which was now the approximate consistency of polished concrete) at an even faster rate than before.

I must admit that I have to question the sanity of the person who first thought “hey, I’ll just strap these long planks of wood to my feet and throw myself off the side of the mountain. That’ll be fun!” I mean, seriously.

Equipment returned, boots off, blood flowing back into my feet, we took the chairlift down. I’m not particularly earthquake-phobic, but staring at the spindly old towers on the hill and the even spindlier cable overhead, I couldn’t help but think how much it would suck if the big one hit right at that moment.

The evening wound down with dinner at a Mexican restaurant, a much needed beer, followed by half a much-needed margarita, followed by a much needed glass of water to let said margarita exit my system before driving her back to her house.

And the girl? As seems to be so typical these days, the more time I spent with the girl, the more I started to take interest in her, what with our similar thoughts on religion/philosophy, politics, places to live and all that. And the more I was convinced that she was unattracted to me.

Why? Could be the conversation in which she told me about her 10 year relationship that ended over a year ago. About how she’d already been through her “rebound guy” and it ended badly (for him, apparently). About how her sister tried to get her into online dating but she wasn’t so much looking at the moment.

I generally think, and maybe I’m wrong about this, but when a girl says that she’s not so much looking at the moment (especially because she doesn’t want to “hurt someone” again (a reference to the rebound guy)), it generally means that she’s not looking for you.

So I learned on Sunday how to ski fall on my ass multiple times in succession. That falling down on a ski slope is like slamming into solid granite rather than fluffy, powdery snow. That a girl I thought might have some interest in me apparently doesn’t, and while I’m not opposed to a new friendship, kinda sucks as I was starting to find her attractive.

And that I will, willingly, make a total and complete fool out of myself for a girl.


  1. OMG, GH! How badly bruised are you??

    I loved your first ski experience. I always thought it would be so much fun to ski, however, I’m sure my experience would be exactly like yours! That’s why I stick with sledding. Ya start out on the butt and that’s where you stay, until you crash into a tree/snowbank/building/people … LOL

    Sucks about the girl! Hang in there, someone is out there looking just for you!

  2. It might be better if you tried it in real snow in Canada…

    I tried hard not to laugh at your skiing misfortunes but I do believe I scared the neighbours cat with my howls.

    She must need her mind checked.
    Just saying.

  3. Hilarious story – well written! I think it is AWESOME that you just picked up and tried skiing. Even if it was all for a girl, it’s very cool that you just dove right in. (Or fell on your ass right in!) Anyway, now you have a new skill to show… whether you get the girl in the end or not. Did you make a second date or are you absolutely positive about the ‘just friends’ vibe?

  4. Very funny, GH. And educational too, because you have taught me to never, ever try skiing, ever.

    Sorry about the girl, but friends are always good. You never know…

  5. I have never skied before and now I know why. I commend you for doing something new though, even if it was painful in the end (HA get it … in the END).

    As for the girl, I still think you find what you are looking for when you’re not really looking. Since she’s not looking … you never know.

    Since skiing was her idea, maybe you should invite her over to tend your wounds.

  6. Funny! Great re-telling! I know how to ski but a couple of years ago tried to snowboard. My tale is much the same as yours (as was my tail bone) and half way through the day I gave up and rented skis.

    Totally unrelated, how do you get wordpress to allow comments to post automatically without having to come to my email for approval?? Can’t figure WP out just yet!

  7. dobegil – more bruised than I would like. I’ll have to try the sledding thing at some point.

    just a girl – Hinting at a future trip I should take? ‘Tis okay to laugh, I did.

    charlotte – no second date (don’t think the day was a date, even). I don’t wan to be positive, but don’t want to create false hope for myself either.

    lea – Sure, try it! Makes for fun blogging.

    Homer-Dog – Heh, good pun. I thought about the invite, believe me…

    mothernaturesdaughter – heh, I’ll have to try snowboarding and humiliate myself in a whole new way at some point!

  8. “I did it because a pretty girl wanted to go.”

    How true.

    And don’t despair, my friend. Sarah was adamant about how she wasn’t interested in a boyfriend when we started dating. And here we are, more than a year later, still happily together. Of course, we dated for 4-5mo before she considered me her “boyfriend” but it was worth the wait.

    I’m not suggesting that will happen here… but just take it easy in the meantime.

  9. you’re so funny. if nothing else, the pretty girl got you to try something new that you may not have otherwise!

  10. Okay, now that I have read this post, it’s HILARIOUS!!! Your post might as well have been written about my experience:

    ** I also did it for my guy, even though I ended up loving it;
    ** “Cast-iron” — so true! I don’t know how people walk in them;
    ** When I fell, my legs also got twisted by the skis into all sorts of unnatural positions; couldn’t stand up so had to take off the skis; couldn’t get back onto the skis coz they kept sliding downhill;
    ** one time I was so scared of the slope (steeeeep!) I decided to just slide down on my ass, instead of skiing down. LOL!
    ** falling in soft snow is actually really fun (is that perverse or what), but on ice? Ouch! I can relate.
    ** I was so ashamed of being in a group class with six-year-olds that I spent $50 for a private lesson taught by a 21-year-old who didn’t exactly teach me anything I hadn’t already learned from watching youtube.
    ** Chairlift of decapitation: yes! I was almost beheaded when I tried the bunny slope chairlift by myself for the first time. Managed to fall on both ends (the getting on and the getting off), and crash into people before and after me.

    You have superb writing skills! And are you sure you never want to try again, girl or no girl? 🙂

  11. This is such a cute post. I love this line, “Ah, the joy of youth. They’re fearless and having tons of fun in the snow, whereas I’m calculating what kind of health insurance premium I’m going to rack up by the end of the day.”.

    I think that you left out falling over and over in the snow is kind of like dating. You keep falling over and over in love, and you have to keep picking yourself up again.

    Also, this blog reaffirms my fears of trying snowboarding and the like. I am not a fan of getting hurt, haha. Although, I do want to at least try, and I would definitely go for a cute guy…

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