After a week of listening to my furnace battle near record-breaking lows, I'm already daydreaming about spring. Sure, snow is pretty, but I get over it the second I have to break out a shovel.
I bet the outdoor buffs are shaking their heads as they pull on a layer of thermal underwear for a weekend jaunt down a few ski slopes, but I'm just not that enthusiastic. Even as a kid, I only stayed outside long enough to warrant a cup of hot chocolate.
It's not like I didn't give winter sports a try. Granted, it was a million years ago, but I honestly did attempt to maneuver down a mountain with those crazy slippery sticks fastened to my feet. I was in fifth grade and the ski club was my elementary school's hot spot. So one afternoon I made the gutsy move of penciling my name on the sign-up sheet.
I figured if I chickened out, I could always flip the pencil over and take advantage of the eraser.
But my parents paid the bus and ski rental expenses, so I felt committed. Fortunately, one of my closest friends was an avid skier and agreed to hold my hand through the process -- literally, as I flailed down the bunny slope.
I remember walking through the drafty ski-fitting area with trepidation. Everyone seemed to know exactly what they were doing except for me. Not to mention I hadn't made it outside yet and I was freezing in that open-air plywood bungalow.
As a first-timer, I was shuffled along with other novices to a free lesson. The instructor made it sound so easy.
"Just shape your skis into a pizza wedge when you want to stop," he said.
Simple enough. Pizza. No problem.
Then we were told to grab onto a handle as a mechanical pulley system tugged us up the slightest of inclines. At the top, we would ski down while intermittently practicing our best pizza formation. While I stood in line for my turn, I watched as pint-sized toddlers flew down the hill with ease. Not only did they get from one end to the other without falling down, but they didn't even have poles to help keep them upright.
Surely if they could do it, I could do it, I thought.
I was wrong. I faltered, fumbled and tumbled my way down. I had snow in places I didn't know snow could go -- like my tear ducts and inner ear cavity. For the first time in my life, pizza had failed me. I wanted to admit defeat, crawl to the lodge and wait by the fire until our scheduled departure time.
But my friend wouldn't let me give up until I had at least given the bunny slope a try. She assured me it was simple and said that if I didn't love skiing by the time I got to the bottom, she would personally escort me to get a cup of hot chocolate.
Well, I do not love skiing. If anything, my horrible experience solidified the sport in my Things Never To Do Again mental file folder. It was so bad that I took off my skis halfway down the slope after nearly careening off a cliff. Then I awkwardly trudged along in boots that were not made for walking, tears streaming down my face.
My membership with the ski club was short-lived.
Now that I have a little perspective on the situation, I'm glad I was brave enough to give it a shot. But for this girl, pizza is best enjoyed hot with extra cheese. And preferably indoors.