The most peaceful place

23 Jan

I shuffle through the crowd in my three layers of clothes;  the outer shell being waterproof pants, a bulky winter jacket and furry hat and gloves.  The sea of people with skis or snowboards attached to their boots doesn’t move quickly but with purpose toward the chairlift ahead.  I dig my ski poles hard into the snow and push off closer to the front of the line.  The large metal chairs swing fast around the huge wheel and scoop riders up before beginning the slow incline up the mountain.

When it’s my turn to ride, I firmly plant my skis on the yellow line and glance over my shoulder to wait for the moment when the moving chair makes contact with the back of my knees and I lean back to rest on the seat.  I pull my poles to my chest and swing the overhead bar down in front of me to “lock” me into position.  The slow gentle bob of the lift is relaxing as it carries me overtop the slope and the snowboarding park with its jumps and ramps where the bold showcase their tricks.  I always appreciate passing over at just the moment when a snowboarder is clearly showing off for his friends and then embarassingly lands on his butt!

I chuckle to myself as the journey up the mountain continues.  If it weren’t so cold out, I could almost fall asleep due to the soft mellow music playing over the loudspeakers and the faint lights casting a warm glow across the terrain below.  As the lift begins to ascend at a steeper angle, the night becomes darker around me and the whistle of the wind is the only sound I hear as the end of the ride is within my sights now.

Approaching the lift’s drop-off point, I lift the lap bar over my head again and wiggle toward the edge of my seat.  The chair speeds in to the landing and I push my poles into the ground to cruise out of the way and toward the slopes ahead.  I am faced with several choices: the easy and intermediate slopes to my left, or the three advanced slopes straight ahead and to my right.  I know that whichever route I choose, I will enjoy simply because I love to ski!  Ever since I learned to ski in my 4th grade ski club in Korea, I have had a passion for it.  And, even though I am plagued with an extreme fear of heights, I have found that the ski slopes are one place that I can somewhat conquer my fear!

There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of standing atop a steep snow covered slope to take in the amazing view before zooming downward at record speed!  Even though I will be racing down the mountain, almost out of control, I will fall into a swift zig zag pattern as I keep my skis parallel while shifting my weight to make turns.  I will whiz past other skiiers and the tall sturdy trees as if they aren’t even there.  The chill that will hit my exposed cheeks and the loud “whoosh” that rings in my ears will not bother me as I focus on form and savor the excitement I feel as if I’m the only one in the world at that particular moment.

I can barely contain myself now as the anxiety of that exhilarating feeling takes over and I slide my skis in the direction of the first sign with a black diamond on it.  After several steps and a moment of adjusting my poles around my wrists and my hat down around my ears, I nudge the ends of my skis to the edge of the slope.  Looking down, I smile and internally squeal “Here I go!” …

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One Response to “The most peaceful place”

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  1. Ultimate Blog Party 2012! « stickynotequeen - April 16, 2012

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