Last Saturday, I met a few obstacles, pushed through, and survived. Later, I could barely keep my eyes open or raise my arms over my head. Yet, I felt like a beast, even if I’m on the small side. Stronger people might not have broken a sweat.
It started in the morning. I had planned to ski Breckenridge, but my daughter, Courtney, and her friends decided to go to Keystone. When I told her that I would meet them after having another cup of coffee, she warned me about parking. I have great parking karma, so I dinked around and left an hour later. As I approached Keystone’s main parking lot, I passed a mile-long line of cars waiting to pull into the lot. Damn. I turned around and considered driving back.
Large signs posted along the highway indicated that the north lot was still open, but I would have to take a bus. I noticed several small shuttles stuck in traffic. I didn’t have time for that. I am terrible at waiting. Any long line makes me fidget. I pulled into the north lot anyway.
Rolling down my window, I asked one of the parking dudes how long it would take to walk to the chairlift.
“Least a half hour.”
I could see the chairlift in the distance. As the crow flies, it didn’t seem that far. I would be there in fifteen minutes, tops.
Luckily, I wore worn-out Ugg boots that day. I could leave them near the chairlift. There was no way my knees would survive if I hiked in ski boots. I’ve been rehabbing them since last spring and couldn’t afford a setback. There was a time when I couldn’t hike at all. But I was feeling good, feeling strong. The sun shone brightly. I knew I could do it.
With my skis balanced on one shoulder, I held the straps of my heavy boots and poles in the other hand and made a beeline for the closest lift in the distance.
That beeline became my first obstacle.
I hadn’t paid attention to the snowboarders who had hiked out of the lot when I parked. Plows had piled the snow along the perimeter. If I forged a trail over unbroken snow, I could sink up to my thighs.
When I made it to the wall of snow, I couldn’t find their tracks. I heaved a sigh and turned around. A young guy headed for the far side of the lot. I caught up and realized it was the way out, but he was peeing. I had to wait. GAH!
Finally, I arrived at the highway. Looking back over my shoulder, a steady stream of boarders and skiers crossed at the light behind me. It would have been faster to backtrack out of the lot. Oh, well.
A couple of snowboarders went up and over the aforementioned snow mound and cut a diagonal across the busy road. Since they looked as if they had done this before, I scampered behind them. I’m all about adventure.
They found a path that led away from the busy street. I caught up with them at a steep decline. They stepped down the snowy headwall with snowboards in hand as if it were flat pavement.
It couldn’t be that hard.
As I started downhill, I fell over. My ski boots filled up with snow. I took a few more steps and toppled over again. This time, my skis hit me in the head. Thank God I wore a helmet. The third time, I really tried to stay upright, but my old boots slipped out from underneath me. I took a few more steps and tumbled again.
Did I mention there was a nice winding road at the bottom of the hill where all of the intelligent people walked from the parking lot? Yeah, I’m sure I provided hilarious entertainment.
That’s when I also noticed huge buses driving from the lot — two major failures.
Oh, well. I picked myself up and slipped into the crowd.
When I finally made it to the lodge in front of the Peru lift, I shook out my ski boots, stuffed my sweaty feet in them, and left my old Uggs behind. I hoped to have some energy for the trek back to the car.
By the time I sat on the chairlift. I was soaked through my clothes. What a workout.
After a quick run, I found Courtney and Company, and we skied together. When we stopped for lunch, we provided proof of vaccination. I felt so safe. It was the first time I’d eaten in a restaurant since the arrival of Omicron. I’m boosted but don’t want to give it to anyone or get sick for a few days. The food was cheaper this year too. BONUS!
At around 2:00, I skied back down to the Peru lift.
I had reserved parking at Breckenridge Ski Resort and had to use it. We pay for day use at one of the lodges. If we’re a no-show, we can’t use the amenities for two weeks.
So back to my boots I trudged and made my way toward the winding road. That’s when I noticed one of those fine-looking humongous buses. Why walk when I could roll?
After a quick stop at the main lot, we rumbled down the highway and parked at the north lot.
This could be brutal. Stepping off the bus involved major struggling since, this time, I wore ski boots and held my snow boots, poles, and skis. I considered tossing them on the snowy ground but made it to the ground without faceplanting. Yes! Sweet victory.
Have you ever gone to a store and forgotten where you parked?
Yeah, that happened. My car was parked so far away. I circled around and found it. After I threw my equipment in the back and switched to snow boots, my arms lifted like wings without the heavy weight.
I drove up to Grand Lodge at the base of Peak 7 with one hour to spare. When shuffling to the lift, I dropped my skis twice. TWICE! I have never dropped my skis. I felt like a little kid.
After skiing to Peak 8 and back, I was done.
One of the best shots of the day was accidental. LOL!
When I got home, I felt good. Exhausted good. My body hadn’t let me down. I didn’t limp or have any shooting pain. Although, my left arm measured six inches longer.
After all of these months of PT, stretching, and working out, I finally turned a corner.
My knees didn’t hurt, but my puny arms and shoulders killed me. NOTE TO SELF: ADD AN UPPER-BODY WORKOUT TO YOUR GYM SCHEDULE.
I pushed myself and survived a wild adventure, even if others pointed and laughed. Good thing I can laugh at myself.
I may be small, but I’m a beast at heart.
Have you pushed yourself lately? Have you ever lost your car in a parking lot? When was the last time your body was reeeeeeally sore?