Every now and again we have that circle of friends who come up with bold travel plans where waivers need signatures before participation. When I heard that this particular event was next, I couldn’t help but wonder what the experience would hold in store for us. In celebration of my good friend Mariah’s 25th Birthday we would be going skiing in North Carolina. I was excited to say the least. Also, accompanying that feeling of excitement was extreme nervousness as I remembered how my immune system had a history of failing during climate changes, and so as an extra precaution I racked up on every immune enhancing supplement you could think of vitamin C powder, Halls, hand sanitizer Ibuprofen, Ginger tea and Vicks.
Before the trip, the notion was that black people didn’t ski so in my mind I had to represent for our people. In efforts to accomplish this goal, I purchased all the necessary gear as seen on Pinterest; from the three-layered jacket down to the snow-boots. Its no wonder upon arrival to the airport the luggage indicated being overweight by 15 pounds. Now, there are times when you pay the excess baggage fee. Then there are times where you opt to proudly carry a couple of shoes in hand, roll a constantly tipping over suitcase through the airport, wrap a couple of extra scarves around your neck and triple down on the number of jackets your body will allow you to wear. It’s safe to say I chose the latter (I should probably also mention here that utilizing a friends suitcase despite the side eye given is a viable option, after all, I ain’t too proud to repack). The thought of being warm, protected, and representing in this polar vortex weather comforted me.
We endured a long day of traveling due to some unforeseen travel discrepancies. A certain airline lost my friends luggage, which turned into a Walmart shopping spree. We made it to the cabin at nightfall by the grace of God, because news flash: those sharp turns on dark winding roads and deers in the road surprisingly wasn’t just a fairytale. After settling in, we couldn’t wait to play in the snow, and since most of us are from South Florida and never experienced it at all, it didn’t take long before we found a reason to go outside to play with the snow. From the nonstop laughter to fighting sleep jumping from room to room to catch up and spend time with friends this trip was definitely one for the books! Here is the most memorable moment and top takeaway.
Sometimes in life, we feel we can accomplish things without any preparation and sometimes we can, however, then there are those times when you should prepare beforehand, Skiing is one of them. When you have the choice to purchase or decline, folks, please take the lessons! Don’t try to save time and don’t try to cut costs at this step. I’ll tell you why, if you don’t take the lessons a few things can happen, you can
A) Epically fail at getting on and off the lift.
B) You can catch the wrong lift up the highest slope instead of the smaller one like your friend thought it would be.
C) Get stuck on top of the mountain because once you’re up, there’s only one way down.
If those weren’t reason enough to get you signed up for lessons join me for a brief flashback…
The air was winter circa February 2019. As I gazed down the steep trail, I realized this wasn’t for me. I no longer wanted to represent for our people, in fact, adopting the ‘every man for himself’ mantra for representation sounded more fit for the occasion. I had every intention of staying on the lift to ride back down yet soon found out that wasn’t possible. There I was at a peak elevation of 5,506 feet, stuck, and watching everyone jumping down the slope in complete terror. I kept my distance from the edge until my friend called over to me to stand with her on the frontlines. After declining the offer four times, she wore me down, and I reluctantly obliged. I crept over in what I thought to be a slow trot.
Next thing you know my skis had a mind of their own and in full Pizza mode in my amateur attempt to stop they took off full speed without warning down the slope with me attached to them. My friend tries to grab me back by the hood of my jacket, but it’s to late my plummet to death has begun. I knew this was my pivotal Boys II Men End of the Road moment. While I tumbled through the snow creating massive snow tunnels that I couldn’t see through (some may even call it a human-induced avalanche), ultimately eating a lot of it on the way, I just knew a leg or two would suffer dislocation. Hitting a tree off course would be the only way I would stop rolling down this massive mountain. All I could think was that someone would have to deliver the news to my momma that she came, she saw, she didn’t conquer and is with us no longer. Please don’t let this be you take the lessons!
2. Vulnerability Can Create Great Things!
After my embarrassing Worldstar moment in front of hundreds of people, I came to a complete stop. Traumatized I sat there debriefing and seconds later here comes my friend tumbling down after me with one ski on, the other somewhere lost on this snowy battlefield. She slides over to me and goes immediately into survival mode creating a mapped out tactic to get us back down the mountain. As she instructed, we took our gear off held them and each other tight and became our award-winning bobsled team. So there we go sliding down the mountain on our ass, all the while, the regular snowboarders and skiers zooming by. I knew as she joined me in this moment of vulnerability and pure embarrassment that our friendship would last a lifetime.
I checked Worldstar for the first three days back from the trip. I thank God that he saw fit not to elevate me to a platform where I could be identified, tagged, and made into a gif. The question now remains will I ski again? Find out next on Dragon-Ball-Neen.
Simply Janeen ❤