Skating on Thin Ice

2 Jan

At 26 (i’m still 26, goddamit!) I have never been skiing. Its not something that ever appealed to me; I’m more of a bikini on the beach girl as opposed to having to put on all the clothes I own for fear of catching hypothermia, and heading out into what is essentially frozen rain, which in my opinion, is worse than normal rain.

But, from afar, it does look fun, doesn’t it? Riding to the top of a mountain and then skating down a massive hill covered in fresh, sparkly snow. The Princess in me has always thought that the sparkly was fascinating, and wondered that if so many people enjoyed it, it could really be the bad (or that hard), could it?

I had failed to remember of course that at about 8 years old, my Dad had taken my sister and I to the ice rink, I had tried ice skating for about ten minutes and then thrown a strop over being cold and the fact that my sister was getting it and I wasn’t, and demanded to go home, never to return.

Glossing over that.

So this year, I decided to join my (super sporty) family in Mammoth Lakes, California, for three days of skiing / snowboarding / generally making piece with the cold. I was armed with a shed load of cold weather clothes, chap stick and an open mind on falling over in the snow, something that I do on a regular basis.


I got off the plane at the really cold airport, and went to get a taxi to meet my family, who had been snowboarding since Boxing Day. As I opened the taxi door and went to hop in the truck taxi, I slipped and slid under the car, mechanic style.

I can’t help to think, that with hindsight, this was an omen.

The day before I flew to LA I had been trying to be a big girl and carry my luggage down the stairs, slipped and fell and landed on my coccyx, so I had an achey bum to start off with, but I soldiered on.

The next day, I enrolled into ski school. Can’t be that hard, I thought, there are teeny tiny kids out there doing it.

My lesson consisted of 20 people, including a hot man called Craig who I made a beeline to with immediate effect. Craig (my new arch nemesis) took to skiing like a duck to water, and smugly checked in on my every now and then as I failed to do anything with any success.

Skiing looks easy. My thirteen year old cousin reinforced this belief, by telling me she had got bored of it and turned to snowboarding instead.



The idea was that you made a pizza shape with your skis to stop, and the shape of two fries net to each other to go. Eaaaaaassssyyy.

I got that fairly quickly, but it turned out that I have an overwhelming propensity to veer left, for no discernible reason whatsoever. My group found it endearing the first few times, until I got to the top of the teeny slope, skied down a few metres and then veered left, taking out my entire class INCLUDING HOT CRAIG. Jesus, my fool proof plan of meeting and marrying an American and never having to leave San Diego had suddenly taken  turn for the worse.

Luckily, we then broke for lunch. I informed my Aunt that, as an adult, I wouldn’t throw a monumental strop and I would go back (complete with torturous ski shoes) for the afternoon portion of the lesson. slightly encouraged by hot man, obviously.

When I got back to the group, we had been split into two. Hot men (or as they called it, ‘apt skiers’) and complete idiots (‘taking slightly longer to feel confident’). upon reflection, I am eternally grateful for this.

The afternoon session saw us walking to a different part of the mountain that was slightly steeper, to learn a bit better. I got half way, and as we began to walk up the hill, I somewhat successfully managed to ski about 10 yards down the mountain, BACKWARDS. The t**t of a ski instructor caught up with me and informed me that he couldn’t understand why I “Just hadn’t gotten it yet’. *!&#* I clearly wasn’t being a skiing idiot on purpose! I followed him up the mountain and promptly did it again, but this time I fell at the end of my dramatic (and impressive) backwards ski, got my skis stuck in the snow and totally lost the plot. I got up in tears, dramatically threw a pole, closely missing a small child and declared I was giving up. I sat there for a while and had a flash back of when the surf board hit me in the face a few years back, and decided I didn’t want to be labelled by my family as a serial giver – uperer. I went back.

So, to sum it up, the afternoon lesson was cut short by my ability to veer left. I successfully veered left into the flight path of the chair lift on two occasions, before tearfully sticking ym skis in the snow and retiring my short ski career.

At least I tried.


21 Responses to “Skating on Thin Ice”

  1. susielindau January 2, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    When are you coming to Colorado? We are in the mountains right now! Skiing takes a while to get the hang of. 🙂

    • tinkerbelle86 January 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      I have no plans to right now, my cousin took a last minute decision to go to san diego state so it will e a trip i will have to make to visit! I have managed to get a really bad ear with all the flying too. x

  2. Sandi Ormsby January 2, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I can relate:

    Good ole Mammoth- the 1 and only time, took a snowboard lesson at 25 years old and did fairly well! It was a fun trip for my bday.

    I tried skiing once and only once- I was in 10th grade and went w/my church. On the chair, in the middle of my journey to the top of the hill, one of my skis fell OFF! I had to yell down below so noone would get hurt. It was my 2nd attempt to go down the hill, and I had to figure out how to exit the lift (I did without falling!) and then scoot down the hill to the guy who held it for me- with only 1 ski. My main problem was I could not figure out how to stop! I skiied right between two guys talking (over their skiis) I jerked my arms in (and up) hit one guy, lowered that pole, but raised the other for balance and hit the other guy…after passing them, I fell!

    That was the last time I skiied. Water skiing is even harder…but I was more successful. After I got up and rode for awhile, I was done for life. The getting up out of the water is a pain in the ass and I saw wipe-outs by friends and family, and I could tell it hurt. No thanks.

    Sandi 🙂

  3. prenin January 2, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Don’t worry hun – I’m one for monumental screw-ups too so you are not alone! 🙂

    Hope the rest of the holiday went well! 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  4. Kats Whispers January 2, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Oh wow. I’m off skiing for the first time and I’m hoping that I can get the hang of it fast before my nieces show me up 😉

    Enjoy the rest of your time in the USA x

  5. Tori Nelson January 2, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Starting with a sore butt doesn’t help. I tried once. And by try I mean I got suited up and thought about it before opting for coffee and reading 🙂

  6. Go Jules Go January 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Oh dear. Your first skiiing excursion sounds about as successful as mine was! It’s been 19 years and I still haven’t worked up the nerve to face the slopes again.

    On the upside, a trip to California! And you look adorable. Happy New Year, Tinkerbelle!

  7. misswhiplash January 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh I am so sorry that you were a complete and utter failure!
    I am now 73 and I have never even tried to ski..that’s for others not me….Like you when I was about 12 my step father took me to Streatham Ice Rink to learn to skate. It took me 45 minutes to get from dressing room to the edge of the rink..where I promptly landed on my bum. I scrambled to the side, undid the boots and vowed that enough was enough.
    Even if you did fail…and it did make me laugh, so it was worth it….you did at least try whereas I did not even really try, so I failed bigtime.
    never mind ..we can’t all be great skaters or know what you do best…and one of those is blogging
    Happy New Year

  8. Audrey January 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I’m glad you stopped when you did! Bikinis and beaches sound WAY more fun anyway. You’re not alone – I’m a once-a-year snowboarder currently because that’s about all my poor body can take of concussions and twisted knees…
    Hoping you got to enjoy some of the time with family though!

  9. The Byronic Man January 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    It is ridiculously difficult not to shout obscenities at the little kids whizzing effortlessly down the slopes.

  10. twindaddy January 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m sorry. I laughed. I don’t enjoy snickering at another’s misfortune, but.. nevermind. I surely do. But you’re right, at least you tried. Hopefully you enjoyed the rest of your trip.

  11. Sandra Bell Kirchman January 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    I couldn’t laugh at your story, I was relating too much. I have a fear of heights and so would NEVER go on any kind of slope on skis, but I did take a couple of lessons on cross-country skiing. I figured, it’s on flat land, how hard can it be? You apparently know the answer to that as well as I do.

    Now for the burning question, did you meet up with Mr. HOT again? I think it would be great if you were on the same continent as me, although California is as far away from me as England…okay, not quite, but it might as well be 😐

    • tinkerbelle86 February 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      No, I think my completely backwards attempts at skiing paired with me being trailed by my Beavis and Butthead cousins might have put paid to that 🙂

  12. 1stpeaksteve January 3, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    I have adopted a game plan many years ago. If it is a board and has no fins; I just avoid it. Surfing is to ingrained in me to have to worry about making patterns to stop or worry about catching the outside edge. I stay off ice skates as well!

    Enjoy your trip!

  13. Sam January 3, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    What a giggle! Not to worry. Skiing is overrated plus we Have shoe mobiles now as well… it no longer serves a purpose 😉

  14. Redneckprincess January 3, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    I have seriously tried skiing. I have tried hard. It is a stupid sport that hurts me every. single. time. I don’t care what anyone says, sometimes you should just stay in the bar…

  15. mamanne January 4, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Oh, Mammoth!! That is where my husband and I learned to ski, about a hundred years ago, lol. I loved skiing at Mammoth… the snow was fantastic, the weather was fantastic – in the spring we could actually ski with our jackets off, the sun was so warm. Not that it isn’t hard – I found it very hard, and exhausting, but I still liked it. Plus, the drive up there is great – you are on a big wide highway and “poof” there’s the ski hill! THEN… we moved to Idaho. The ski hill isn’t too far – – but the road is treacherous. The three times we tried to ski here it: 1)was so foggy we couldn’t see more that 2 feet ahead of us. Not good skiing. 2) It sleeted – imagine ice needles hitting your face at a high rate of speed. Not good skiing. 3) It rained. Sucky skiing. I have never gone skiing here since. A few years ago I signed my daughter up for ski lessons, because, well, all her cousins ski so it seemed like the thing to do. She did ok, but thank goodness she didn’t love it because I would have to drive her up that horrible road. I took up snowshoeing instead. THAT is fun! And easy 🙂

  16. Bridgesburning Chris King January 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Sound like you did better than I might have. I think my expertise in skiing is in the chalet, warm drink in hand as others limp in.

  17. Marvin the Martian January 16, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    There are much cheaper ways to injure yourself, such as rollerblading or bicycling. And because rollerblading and biking are warm-weather sports, when you’re lying on the ground waiting for a medic after you tear an ACL or break a collarbone, you’re much less likely to freeze to death.

    So you tried skiing, good for you. That’ll look good on your afterlife resume’.

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