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Month: January 2003

delayed update

Well, in an attempt to save this day from complete and total uselessness (for some reason I have been incredibly uninspired to do anything today), I’m going to write about my latest winter sport attempt — ice skating. I figure since my last post was about skiing this is only fitting. I find it curious, though, that nobody pointed out my explanation of the origin of skiing was completely ficticious. Funny too, but I digress. Hit that comment button, kiddies.

Anyway, skiing is something I think I realized I could handle. Sure, I’d have problems, but I think deep down inside I knew I’d eventually tame the physics of it and be, at least, a sub-average beginner at it.

With ice skating I had no such flights of fancy. Having never rollerbladed or roller skated even (well, I think I did once in Junior High)… I knew I was in for trouble.

And I was. Walking in the skates just to get onto the ring was difficult. “Ha,” I thought at the skates, “it can’t get tougher than this!”

The feeling when you first put the ice skate to the ice the first time you go skating is, to me, a sensation that will never be forgotten. It was like being lubed up with butter — being lactose intolerant this is a double whammy — and shoved down a teflon chute. Having no control, no acceleration, no deceleration, no anything — that was quite a dilema. I stuck to the boards and worked on figuring out exactly how to work my feet.

It never quite happened, unfortunately. By the end of the night I hadn’t been away from the boards. I was glad I hadn’t fallen, though. Yeah, things were at least tolerable until Masha decided to drag me out into the middle of the ice. “Waaaa” I believe I said, or something to that effect. There is a picture of me looking very intimidated but for the sake of my own humility it is staying hidden.

Eventually I was unharnessed and returned back safely to the boards, still, I should mention, without falling once! Deciding I was not only King of Dorks but also King of Not Falling While Trying Dangerously Stupid Winter Activities (despite setbacks while skiing, but those are understandable) I could see that I was going to get through the night unscathed.

Then Masha decided to just push me down. Gravity and her agreed and I couldn’t say much about it. Plop. She claims she wasn’t trying to push me down but it’s hard to otherwise explain why she’d push me at knee-level; it’s not exactly a perfect balance point at which one can safely be accelerated.

Now that I have documented this malfeasance I can rest, knowing that no matter the next attempt on my life it has been documented.

skiing, a rant

Complete this sentence: The Hardest Thing About Skiing is _____________.

You can probably tell a lot about yourself depending on the answer. For example, if you said “the ground”, “the snow”, or “falling”, you can tell that I hate you.

If you said “stopping”, “learning” or something to that effect, you are fairly pragmatic.

Now if you said “not turning around backwards and staying that way despite any futile attempts to turn around” you clearly had a skiing attempt very similar to my own.

Skiis were invented in the late 1200s by a pack of wandering Prussians. When running away from a wild horde of barbarians (whose faces, I should mention, were painted green and brown with feces) they deduced the dynamics of a ski. They were rudimentary, but the basic physical principals were figured out because people are inherently afraid of poop.

The weird thing is because of this, they apparently violate any physical law of nature or causality. For example — if I shooshed my skiis a certain way, I’d do a 180 degree turn and be going down a hill, quickly, and backwards.

If I did the same exact shoosh thereby attempting to turn a full 360 degrees — and face foward — I would actually ski PEFRECTLY STRAIGHT. Perfect form and control, only backwards and freaked out.

Not only that, it seems ANY movement whatsoever was exactly like that shoosh. The first 10 or 20 times I tried to ski I ended up backwards and, shortly thereafter, on the ground. I would be on the ground not because I lost balance — nothing quite that simple — but because I needed to fall to stop. I needed to stop so I could face foward to see my eventual death (or painful near-death). Or you could also say I needed to stop so I could face foward so the skis could make me turn around again.

Finally on my ski rant — the two most useless things people will say to a beginner:

1) Turn your skis in to stop

and

2) Ski across the mountain, not down it.

Number one is simple to explain. It simply isn’t true. The way to stop is to fall down. Turning one’s skis inward does nothing.

Number two is common sense, quite honestly. Of course you want to ski across the mountain — you’ll go slower. So why be annoyed when people give you this tip of useful but obvious advice?

People think if you don’t do what they say or suggest that you’re not listening. It’s a pretty normal response, I guess… if you tell someone to stop picking their nose or eating veal and they continue, it’s a good observation that they either aren’t listening or don’t respect your opinion.

Now when someone has an extremely aerodynamic piece of wood latched onto their foot and they are then essentially PUSHED down a mountain towards the ground, it’s a very idodic assumption to say if they don’t VEER to your standards and end up hitting a tree that they were not listening. It assumes that the person can actually CHOOSE where to point the aerodynamic piece of wood. This is a flawed and painful assumption. Jerks.