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Weekend Ski Trip? and the Time I Thought I Was Hermann Maier

Heidi Shenk "skiing" "snow" "travel"

It's Friday which means time for another weekend adventure! This time we're headed to western Maryland for the weekend to go skiing. We're going with a group of friends and staying together at a house we rented for the weekend. The only problem (hence the title "Weekend Ski Trip?" with the question mark) is the weather. With a ridiculously warm winter we're a bit worried that snow will be an issue. And while it's supposed to snow there tonight, the forecast for Sunday and Monday is sunny and 52 degrees!

And even if there is snow, we're expecting horrible, icy snow. Or we're expecting to be pelted in the face with the snow-makers the whole time we're skiing. Neither which I am looking forward to. And I was spoiled with the powdery, fluffy stuff from early on, thus quickly coming to hate the East Coast ice. The second time I ever went skiing, I was tackling this mountain, above treeline, at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado.

Not to worry, you must be thinking, she must be a stellar athlete with natural skiing abilities. Don't let the photo fool you, as probably a mere three minutes later, I sustained the worst ski crash I've ever experienced. Let's just say, I flew sideways through the air much like Hermann Maier did in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.


Hermann and I had a similar, yet different crash. Hermann flew sideways through the air. I flew sideways through the air. Hermann's skis popped off like they're supposed to. My right ski didn't, twisting my knee with my foot (still in ski) next my head. Hermann flew through two snow fences. I was stopped by a snow fence on which the other side was a steep side of a mountain. Hermann was hospitalized and severely injured. I landed on my left hip and had a contusion the diameter of a volleyball on my outer thigh and hip. Hermann didn't ski for quite a while after his crash. I skied down the rest of the mountain without another crash. And somehow, despite my entire body aching worse than I can remember in a long time, I went skiing again the next day.

Ok. So maybe it really wasn't like Hermann Maier's crash, but in my head it played out that way. But I really did fly sideways through the air, really, I did. You can just ask Andrew who saw it all go down and had to take his skis off to hike back up the mountain and help me get out of my tangled mess.

Crazy? I blame Andrew and my sister's boyfriend at the time. I believe their last words (both as experienced skiers) were, "Don't worry, you'll be fine up there. You're super athletic and shouldn't have a problem."

So tomorrow I will go skiing down the icy mountain like a granny. Make fun of me all you want, but my normal, go get 'em attitude toward sports changes slightly with skiing. Instead, my main objective is to have fun, but leave the mountain for the day without a single crash. So far, since my wipe out at A-Basin, I've done pretty well with a few bumps and bruises. And so far I'm undefeated against Maryland's mountains.

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