My parents lived a mostly sedentary life, which was not atypical for their generation. There’s no great explorers or adventurers hanging from our family tree.
I was the daredevil of the family, but the bar for that was pretty low.
Still, I liked to nudge boundaries a bit, tempting fate where practical. As a bonus, there was the satisfaction of agitating mama, and she usually took the bait.
Observing any unapproved activity, mom’s go-to warning was always, You’re going to break your neck. Of course, no one ever broke their neck, we were young and invincible.
I was the first skier in my family. As far as sports went, my father bowled and my mother played Mahjong.
I started skiing in college, when a friend invited me on what turned out to be one of many adventures in survival.
We hitchhiked from Dekalb, Illinois to the North Side of Chicago, where we picked up some supplies and a car.
I don’t remember the specifics of the ski equipment, but it might have included breaking into someone’s house who surely wouldn’t mind.
About 90 minutes over snow packed roads and we were at Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin
We put on our skis and grabbed a tow rope, which took us to the top of the hill, where my friend, Lenny said, Follow me.
And so it went. I followed him down without falling or making a single turn.
At the bottom, we ran into some people (literally), and returned to the tow rope for another run.
Fifty years and millions of vertical feet later, I found myself cruising down a completely deserted ski run west of the Continental Divide. What happened next I do not classify as a ski accident, per se, but as a lapse in judgement.
At any rate, I was suddenly surrounded by people and my skis and poles were 50 yards uphill from where I was attempting to stand. People were asking me questions, but I didn’t quite get what they were saying and then suddenly my skis appeared.
Stepping into my skis (this pair, I owned), I turned downhill and headed home.
Something, however, was very wrong. My left arm was dangling, I couldn’t move my head and my shoulders seemed to be locked into a permanent shrug.
Not exactly sure how I got down, but I did. Now all I had to do was figure out a way to cheerfully convey the situation to my wife, whom I affectionately call Broomhilda.
For those who find themselves enjoying a little schadenfreude from my misadventure, tune in tomorrow for “Tales from the ER”
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