Friday, March 28, 2014

Writing Exercise: Spring Forward!

Our writing exercise comes from The Write Brain by Bonnie Neubauer and is a simple prompt: "Finish the story. Start with: Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith..."
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Sometimes it's a big leap, like off a tall building. Sometimes it's a short leap, like when I reached the top of the ski lift. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My first skiing trip was a day trip to the mountains (if you can call them that) of Pennsylvania. A friend and I drove off early in the morning to get to the resort in time for the opening of the slopes. I didn't have any experience or gear or fear or reluctance. I had an initial leap that was easy to make.

The line for skis and poles was long but not very bad. I didn't realize I'd need special shoes too, which added to the prep time. I put my regular boots and whatever I didn't need into a locker and put the key in my inside pocket. Losing that would be bad news.

The new boots were the big, clunky, Frankenstein-style boots that basically immobilize your ankles. They provide good protection but not much assistance with snapping onto the ski. Luckily, technology has come so far that most any boot locks into most any ski with ease. Or at least the resort's equipment was that way.

We started swishing our way across the snow-packed ground. The next beginner lesson was 45 minutes away, so I decided to get on the slopes right away. The line for the ski lifts was long, about 20 to 30 minutes wait just to get on. Getting on was no problem, the chair picked you up with ease. The trip up the hill was uneventful; the views of the mountains and the other skiers coming down were encouraging. After a few minutes it was time to get off.

The ground came closer and closer. Eventually I could see skiers getting off. A small mound of snow was piled up under the lift. People hopped off and went down the mound, turning left or right to get out of the way of the next person. Easier seen than done, I was about to discover.

Our turn came and we both made the jump. A lot of thoughts ran through my head just before the last second: "Keep your weight evenly distributed; keep the skis parallel; don't let one foot get ahead of the other; turn to the left as fast as possible; don't drop the ski poles; use them for balancing and pushing." I wobbled my way around with as much dignity as could be mustered. I must have had beginner's luck because it came off well. If only I had been so lucky on subsequent disembarkments! But that's another story.

This weekend Britain loses the hour for daylight savings, hence the blog post title!

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