Runnin’ On

It’s high time I write something down here again after several weeks’ absence. I’m still here doing stuff, exhilarated and exhausted at the same time. College is hard; there’s a lot to learn and my brain’s getting tired. It’s hard for me to force myself to do homework after 12 hours of doing similar assignments and running between classes and shifting priorities from one subject to another, day after day.

The highlight, of course, is the day I took off. Last Sunday I went to the ski area outside of town, bought a lift pass, and skied until I was shaky from fatigue. Then I skied some more, but paid dearly for it on the last few runs. During the first run I was laughing manically the entire way down; the slopes were untracked and the steepest slopes had knee-deep powder on them. Incredible conditions for Arizona in the middle of April. With the exception of a few tumbles, I stayed in my skis the entire day without a gap for food or rest. In technical terms this meant skiing approximately 25,000 feet of elevation. Neither fatigue, hunger, nor sunburn could make me leave the slopes.

On the last run I was pretty shaky and getting a little wobbly on the skis and took a hard fall close to the top of a black diamond run. It was one of those hi-speed clumsy cartwheel falls that happens when I’m congratulating myself on fast mogul execution, where things pop and twist and I end up ski-less, covered in snow with dry heaves from pain- and shock-induced nausea. I soon continued on my way, albeit with greatly reduced range of neck rotation. Determined to make it to the bottom, I did long traverses broken by carefully-calculated turns, stopping at intervals to catch my breath and pull myself together. On the final approach, which was less steep and free of moguls, I again let the skis go, and again took a hard cartwheel tumble where there was no reason to do so.

It was a long day, I was tired and hungry, but having way too much fun to quit. But I was going to quit, anyway, so I skied all the way to the bottom of the lowest lift where I was parked. But it was not to be, for there was no lift line there and the lifties were calling out for last chair, so up I went again. I had plenty of time to contemplate my quandary on the ride up, and decided to take the same route and conquer it once and for all season. This was not a wise decision at all, and I crashed at least 4 more times on the way down. I had barely enough energy left to hobble to the car. I still couldn’t turn my head, which concerned me a little. Four days later I have nearly all neck rotation back and the sunburn is changing into full-blown peeling stage. All things considered, the trip was a success. So that’s what happens, people, when you don’t take time off. Small excursions become incredibly interesting adventures in the eye of the partaker. A moral for every story.

I will write again soon, I promise.