Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’
i placed my purchases on the countertop.
employee: i see you’re buying the night balm.
me: oh yes! it’s the most amazing stuff.
employee: i know! i go through it like nobody’s business.
me: this is my third tube. i’m obsessed. i use it all the time, not just at night.
employee: oh i know. it’s especially awesome in the winter here with all that wind and cold and stuff. they were out of it for a whole month because it’s so popular and we just couldn’t keep it in stock.
me: i’m not surprised. this stuff is genius.
she switched back into salesperson mode as she packed up my purchases and explained the survey on the bottom of the receipt. i was surprised at the formality of the rest of the conversation, but it sure was delightful having met someone else who shares my affinity for this chapstick.
[and consider this my plug for the night balm. it very well may change your life.]
after skiing in smaller groups all day, we took one run as a whole family (mom, dad, brother G, and sister J (sorry E, you weren’t born yet)). it was J’s first time on the trail, but G and i, having been down that black diamond numerous times before, were racing and showing off for sister J who was methodically swishing her way down the mountain.
it was springtime and the sun turned the snow into slush. i zigged. my ski zaged. i flipped. my knee did something it wasn’t supposed to. i don’t remember the pain but i distinctly remember laying there wondering how i got there. skis were removed (mine, my parents) and placed in x’s around me as a slight form of protection while we waited for the ski patrol.
riding backwards downhill strapped into a toboggan was more terrifying than skiing a double black diamond.
the next thing i remembered was waking up and remarking how my knee felt cold. i looked down and my leg was immbolized in a full brace with just the knee cap exposed, hence the chilliness.
the next next thing i remember is wearing it at school. seeing as i was in the third grade, we walked everywhere in lines meaning there was always a huge gap between me and the next person — hey, you try walking when you can’t bend your knee — and it was the most mortifying thing. actually, come to think of it, the unevenly spaced lines might have been out-embarrassed by the moment(s) when i had to go to the nurse to use the bathroom because i couldn’t work the brace by myself. (again, it was third grade, people).
to this day (knock on wood), it’s the only serious sports injury i’ve had and seeing as i’ve recently returned to the land of skiing and snowboarding, i asked my mom just last week what her memory was of this momentous occasion.
she said, and i quote, “It was late in the date and the slope was slushy. We were on a black diamond, you fell and twisted your knee. In a week you were all well and playing basketball.”
there are so many things about her statement that don’t coincide with my memory that, umm, wow, where do i even start? (1) three sentences? i know we were on text message, but this was A BIG MOMENT in my young life. at least give me four sentences to round out a paragraph. (2) a week? a week is all it took for me to recover? (3) basketball? oh yeah, i guess i did play that sport once upon a time. i haven’t played in who knows how long because i was only ever good at stealing the ball. shooting? naw. passing? eh. dribbling? ha. jumping? yeah, i didn’t get those mumford height genes that all three of my siblings did.
memories are an odd thing.
to me, it was/is a HUGE memory. i was young, fearless (case in point, see brother G’s comments), and unaccustomed to injury. it impacted my life beyond the slope. it lingered and gave me a story to tell. i felt brave and scared all zipped up in a ski parka. that event remains a startling (if incomplete) image in my brain.
to my mom, it wasn’t a big deal. i was out of commission for only a short while and i made a complete recovery. her brain pushed it aside to save room for, you know, her bigger memories like, say, those four times she gave birth. those memories alone ought to obliterate any miniscule memories of a child’s minor injury. granted, she did remember the event (albeit in clipped, sparse detail), which means it must have been somewhat memorable.
maybe, just maybe, my memory is overinflated and her version is the accurate one.
i guess it all depends upon which perspective you’re coming from.
have you ever had a memory repeated to you that changed the way you viewed it? it’s kind of mind blowing, isn’t it?
winters can be suspiciously long if you don’t partake in some sort of winter sport (especially when you live in NE or colorado or utah or anywhere else a lot of snow can be found), so thank goodness for new friends who ski and old friends with newfound abilities.
after snowboarding lessons (in 2000) ruined my skiing techniques (from childhood), i focused almost exclusively on shredding. in fact, i own my gear and i’ve gone snowboarding once a year every year (since 2000).
i’m no expert, but i’m no novice either.
two weekends ago, i happily strapped in to tear up the mountain with the old friends with newfound abilities. this time however, the mountain won. let’s just say my helmet paid for itself because otherwise i’d have knocked myself unconscious. twice.
playing the pansy card, i left the others on the mountain and spent some time warming up in the lodge and pondering why fear was so pervasive that day. as i’ve gotten older, i’ve grown less and less fond of speed because the faster i go, the less control i have / i’m hyper aware of what i have to lose should i sustain an injury BUT snowboarding isn’t something new to me. i have many mountains notched on my proverbial snowboarding belt.
why was i so scared?
it’s most likely because my attention was focused on keeping up and popping up after a fall and maintaining momentum and not being left behind and guilt i was slowing the group down.
i resolved to try again after lunch because i knew i could do better. i pushed myself, but ended the day after only a few more runs and a bout of whiplash and a decision there was no way i could snowboard the very next weekend (which i had previously committed to). i dragged my bruised body inside and wondered what to do next. i’d hoped this trip would be a warm up for the next weekend when a new friend and i traveled to vermont, but instead, all i managed to do was freak myself out.
despite the massive bruising and strained muscles, i couldn’t back out and so instead of falling down the mountain on the next trip, i fell back on old habits and rented skis. i partnered up with people who were at my skill level and took the easy way down. the skis felt familiar. my muscles burned with recognition. my smile bloomed. i was in control, until i wasn’t, but with years of practice behind me, i could contain both my speed and the voice in my head screeching “i’m going too fast too fast too fast i can’t stop i’m going too fast!!!” and enjoy the ride.
oh, how quickly i forgot the fear from the snowboarding weekend. in fact, i was so jazzed i even convinced my new friend to join us for a trip to the top of the mountain even though it was her first time on skis. trust me, when it’s your first time on skis, any slope looks steep.
talk about bravery (on her part) and peer pressure (on my part).
that trip up consisted of four of us: two newbies, two “teachers”. it took us around an hour to reach the bottom (vs. 15 minutes when i went solo), and it was my favorite run of the day.
since i was with people with less experience than me, it was my job to coach and encourage and lead by example. my focus wasn’t on my abilities, but theirs. i wasn’t racing to keep up. we skied it one turn at a time and took frequent breaks and discussed the patterns we carved in the snow and the best route down and icy patches and helped each other up.
it’s a whole different experience when you’re the one not smeared on the ground.
after they decided they’d had enough, i decided i hadn’t. i hopped on the lift and went for four more runs. me, the girl who can’t go anywhere without getting lost and who (realizes now) skis/snowboards for the social (not speed) aspect, went alone. my confidence was up even if my technical abilities were not, and okay, fine, i went down the same run three of four times. i didn’t trust myself not to end up on the other side of the mountain which was covered in black diamond (expert) trails.
sure i could have survived those trails, but for me, the fun part isn’t about the challenge. it’s about the camaraderie and being in control and being in the fresh air and working my muscles and being active and hanging with friends.
what was that about me being a slow learner?
have you ever tried something new and wished you hadn’t? have you ever thought you were better at something than you actually were? do you ski? snowboard? surf? ride horses? play basketball? what color shirt are you wearing? (just seeing if you were paying attention).
as my drink was set in front of me, my phone whistled the arrival of a text which explained why my friend was running so late, well, later than usual — traffic.
waitress: oh, i thought that was my phone. i have the same tone.
me: a lot of people do. my little sister has it and she is constantly confused when our phones are in the same room.
waitress: have you ever seen the big bang theory?
me: no, but you’re about the fourth person this week to ask me that. should i be watching it?
waitress: oh, well, it’s great. i changed my ringtone to the guy’s voice so my phone would stand out.
me: that sounds like a smart idea. *wonders how that ringtone is the same as mine*
waitress: i’ll come back when your table fills out.
as i sat there sipping my guinness and waiting for traffic to clear so my friend could join me, i pondered the possibility of individuality and the way we try to stand out whether it’s in what we wear, what our hobbies consist of or how our phones sound.
despite my ringtone imitating so many others, i was an individual that night. you see, the date was 2/14 and with my friend running late, my solo presence stood out.
i guess i’ll add “unintentional” to the list of ways one can be individualistic.