Opinion

Not so funny, snow bunny

by
April 30, 2018

Cartoon courtesy of Jess Rae of Doodley Squat.

WINTER is coming.
And I can’t wait. Because hopefully this year I’ll be getting my skis on (after a brief 25-year hiatus).
It’s taken a long time for me to appreciate the cold season, but I love it now — especially the snow.
I’ve actually come full circle.
I was born in a snow storm, during a particularly cold Scandinavian winter, and probably didn’t know what shorts were until the age of five.
By then, we had moved to Mount Isa — one of the hottest places on Earth.
So not only a huge culture shock, but a massive climate adjustment.
Then next time I saw snow wasn’t for another 11 years during our high school ski trip to the Snowy Mountains.
But my Nordic genes must have kicked in, because I took to it like — well a Dane on skis.
I loved the rush of downhill skiing so much, I often ignored the ski instructor’s advice to snow plough down the hill and just went from A to B in one straight line — no matter what stood in my way.
So anyone in my line of sight had no other option but to move, post haste.
All people saw was a flash of red as my colourful beanie and I flew past at more than 100km/h.
I think I’m still known at the Perisher Blue ski resort as the ‘‘lunatic in the red beanie’’.
My obsession with speed did not end well though.
I just couldn’t get the acceleration I wanted on the intermediate slopes and the advanced slope (aka ‘‘the forbidden mountain’’) was calling me.
However, Ciara, one of my friends, thought she too could handle it. Turns out she couldn’t. She was half-Irish after all.
She lost control and went hurtling down the steep slope, before flipping through the air and landing on a boulder — letting out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard.
No surprise considering she had shattered her pelvis and broken her wrist.
She had to be flown to the nearest hospital, where she spent the rest of the ski trip bedridden and in some pretty serious pain.
People blamed me, but it wasn’t like I forced her to come with me. But the damage was done. No-one wanted to ski with me after that.
On a side note: Ciara did recover and eventually repaid me by breaking my toe the following year at leadership camp.
So we were even.
Kind of.
I have not skied since that fateful day, but I’m desperate to get back on the slopes again.
If I’m lucky enough to make it to the snow, I may have to slightly curb my need for speed. I don’t really want to pass that gene down to the kidlets.

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