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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bigfoot, Small Brain

You must understand that I am essentially an idiot. I recall very little, comprehend even less, and observe nothing. My life is filled with round pegs and square holes. The things I can accomplish would fill up just about as many pages as the book on Jewish NBA stars of the 21st century. Thus, on the first day of this ski season, when my attempts to put on my ski boots proved useless, and it looked like I was trying to squeeze a size 8 into the baby's first booties, one thing was clear: these boots were not mine.

When I first began to ski, back in the days of ski straps and boots that barely went over the ankles, the stress of putting my feet properly into my equipment almost drove me from the sport. By the time I figured how to undo this buckle, open that up, put the foot at just the right angle, sit not too high or too low, and push like I was in labor, I felt like I was in labor. Utterly exhausted and in pain even before I made the first turn on the slopes, skiing was not so much an adventure as it was a job.

But, thankfully, things changed over time. First came the rear entry boots which provided no support but were easy to slip on and off. Then, as the technology improved, I was able to master the art of actually putting one foot at a time into a boot without having to exert enough energy to want to take a nap. So, when this ski season began earlier this month, the last thing I was worried about was whether the boots would cause me unhappiness.

Thus, as I sat in the patrol room bootless and disconsolate, Jo suggested that back at the house, in another boot bag, my friends had to be waiting anxiously to begin their season.

And so I left the mountain and returned to begin the search. Much like Goldilocks, I determined that this one was too big, this one too tight, and so forth and so on. Then, I opened up Richie's ski bag and the boots reached out and grabbed me. They went on my feet as easily as long lost friends reuniting.

For the last 2 weekends, I comfortably slid down the hill, giving little thought to any part of my equipment except the skis which did not always turn how and where I commanded. But that is a separate tale with no possible happy ending.

Last night we arrived at the ski house, Richie joining us for the first time in several weeks. One of the evening's activities is readying ourselves for the next morning's trip to the slopes. Suddenly, in a slightly animated tone, Richie advised that the boots which I had been enjoying so thoroughly were not mine. The ones I had tossed aside that first day were in fact my long time companions. How, he wondered, could I have forgotten what the boots looked or felt like that I had skied on for close to 100 days? There is no good answer to that question.

And so, I turned my attention back to the offending footwear. I knew I would have to go to war again, and this time find a way to emerge victorious.

In the morning I headed out of the house, determined and worried. I took the keys, put the bags in the car. Then, Jo called out and told me that we never use the car I was loading and that the skis were in the other vehicle, like every other day of past winters. Some days are even worse than normal.

At the mountain , I unpacked my bag and stared at my enemies. They did not seem concerned. However, I called over the best possible re-enforcement, my wife. She pulled and pushed, twisted and turned until the boot would have done anything to escape her grasp. Suddenly, it loosened it's grip on my foot, and my sole touched down, like a gentle moon landing. One small step for man.

We now add to the enormous list of items for which I require the assistance of my beleaguered bride, putting on my ski boots.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy new year

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful time skiing with the family for the holidays! Thank goodness for your patient and able bride - and be careful. I am already anticipating your next blog about your adventure and hope to see you and Joanne in the new year.
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