I’ve always been an adventurer. Since I was young, I would walk miles and miles on my neighborhood looking for little adventures with friends or alone. I used to go to parks and little squares and sit there for a while. While I was in those parks, I think I daydreamed a lot. I can’t even remember what I dreamed about. I was always creating dialogues in my mind. It’s funny as I write this page, I can see me clearly seated on a bench or on an edge of a hill of a little park, just contemplating and watching the dialogues inside my head like a film in the screen or I would just be watching people going by. I watched people a lot. Often imagining what they had in their minds. Some of them walking alone fast or slow. Some looked worried, I could see they frown on their forehead; some seemed happy, I could see a smile forming on their lips. Some looked very peaceful and some very stressful. It’s funny to look back and think of them now. I swear I can even see their faces now in my head. I think I might be a witch or something. Or perhaps, a storyteller! I had absolutely no idea, one day I would be playing characters on a real screen and other people would see me on TV, in films or commercials. Or even further, that I would create my own stories in books and/or film them and present to the world.
Now that I’m thinking about it all, I believe that, deep down, we know what we came here for and it’s clear to me now that we all have stories to tell and we all can create art and present it to the world proudly.
This is one of them and I shall say that, I’m grateful for the child that I was, who always looked up at the stars with a heart filled of excitement and love for the unknown or the forgotten known, if you believe in reincarnation!
It was the last day… I was in Truckee, Lake Tahoe with my husband, skiing. That was my first time and I was completely in love. The first day I had a three-hour class and fell countless times and did not get hurt once. In the afternoon I continued skiing and was not falling anymore. However, I had a lot of problems getting off the chair. I fell a couple of times after I got off of it and when we got back to the hotel I wrote Kent, a teacher from my town. I had practiced a bit with him in his rolling carpet snow simulator in Encinitas. I didn’t believe it would be the same thing but for my surprise it was pretty close to what we experience in the snow itself. He was very excited to hear about my first day and my trouble with the chair and he gave me a tip for not falling. All I had to do was not to look on my skis when they touched the ground, look ahead, reach ahead of me as if I was going to answer an old telephone on the wall and I would be good and I would not fall, he told me. That was exactly what I did and for my amazement I never fell again!
I was all good until…
A two-year old little girl lost her right ski when her and her parents got out of the lift chair. Her father, who was holding her, somehow lost her and she fell on the little slope, off-course, and the guy who was taking care of the lifts on top got out of his cabin and went to her rescue. He lifted her up and stood in front of her, facing the incoming chairs…
Oh fog! I thought… but I had learned how to turn and I was confident in my skills so I waited patiently to get to the slop. The people on the next chair of course were Steve and I, so we’d better act fast. My head started spinning, consumed with thoughts in the few seconds we had before our skis touched the ground. Kent came to my mind and I knew what I was going to do… exactly what I had been doing all morning. So, I reached for the imaginary phone on the wall and stood up when my skis hit the ground. I looked at the guy in front of me, blocking the little girl, and he smiled and then made a fear face and half covered his eyes, still smiling and I gave him a big smile back in gratitude, and when the chair pushed me to turn around, I was ready to turn right (my worse side turn that I was actually practicing all morning and was getting very good at it)… before I continue, I have to tell you about a funny thing that happened in my class the day before. My instructor was great and we progressed fast because of the rolling carpet experience I had before my trip, so when we went on the rolling carpet to take the little hill down we stopped on the side of the hill and he said: “Let’s cross to the other side instead of going down so you can practice the turns. Watch me and then follow me there.” and off he went ahead of me and when the turned to face me he said: “your turn. come to me.” And I took the leap! When I got to the middle I suddenly turned left and down the hill I went! And he followed me… I put myself in wedge and stopped almost at the bottom. I was not able to do that and if you know me, you know I was laughing the whole time. He told me I needed to put the weight in the left leg so I could go to where he was and we went up again in the carpet… well, same thing happened. For the life in me, I could not do that. It felt like if I did I would cross my skis and fall flat to the ground. We talked about it and I mentioned that I had the same problem with bicycle, but to turn left. Still today, I always have to slow down to turn left in the bike. And he explained to me that most people have that problem and the reason is because our brain is telling us not to trust that side. Anyway…
When I put my weight in my left leg to turn and go to the right, I felt a hand pushing me further to the side and I guess the pressure of the strong hand made me put more weight that I needed and to the ground I went! On the very end side of the chair, where there was a yellow stick on the ground, which indicates you should not pass that line as there was a deeper fall in the edge. I think Steve thought I would run into them… Yes, my beloved husband.
I was on the ground in excruciation pain! Dear lord!!! I could not, for the life in me, get up so I grabbed my hurt leg very carefully and dragged myself further to the right side to be off the path so other people from next chair could go on without hitting the guy and little girl and off course myself or my skis. Nobody ever did because all they had to do was to turn, right or left!
I was so mad at my husband… he could have gone to the left side or just slowdown to let me go instead of just pushing me to the side.
I could not see anyone else. I just heard voices going by and no idea what they were saying. I was dealing with a lot of pain, for Christ’s sake! But more than that, I was probably ashamed. I always tell people I don’t care what people think of me, and I really don’t but for some reason, I was embarrassed . A woman from the ski school came to me and tried to help me to stand but hell, there was no way I could do that… one tiny little movement on my knee, leg, whatever… I don’t even know which, and I was seeing starts! Not the stars you see on tv or the ones on the skies, but the ones that we see when we are in great pain. If you ever felt pain like this, you’d probably saw them, if not, you never had this kind of pain!
I dragged myself to the other side and got completely away of other people’s way and after a while, various painful attempt to move my leg, with that woman’s help and my pole, I was able to stand up. But I was unable to put any stress on my knee as any little twist, especially to the right, the pain was truly unbearable. I kept asking Steve why did he do that and he kept saying he didn’t do anything. I didn’t want him to touch me. That’s how mad I was at him at that moment. The woman from the school asked me if I wanted her to bring help so I could be taken down the slopes on a carrier. She noticed my hesitation and asked if I wanted to try to go down on my own so I tried, very carefully, putting my weight only on my ankle and boot and I could see it was possible to try that and I did. I was able to go downhill on my own… with my pride bruised! Followed by my husband and this lovely lady.
I spent about one hour at lunch time and I wanted to see if I could keep going… I was in love with the new hobby I had just learnt and it had been in my mind since I visited Breckenridge, Colorado in 2004. And then suddenly I was not mad at my husband anymore. After all, he introduced me to my ski. In fact, he paid for the three hours class I had the day before with an amazing instructor from Sugar Bowel. But I still blamed him. I would not let him get away with murder. And I think he felt guilty because he kept looking at me and my knee with a face of a dog who knows he did something wrong. You know that face! Every time he looked at me like that I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t because I was in pain but mostly to punish him. But his face alone was enough for me to forgive him, just like I would forgive my dog or cat for any wrong doing. After all I have to believe he had everyone’s best interest in had when he pushed me to death!
I kept massaging my knee, still in great pain and a couple, who was having lunch on a table next to us noticed and offered me some medication. The wife had Advil, Tylenol and Ibuprofen in a cute little pouch. In other words, she was prepared. This probably happened to her before, I jumped to conclusion and assumed. I chose Advil and she gave me two, which I took gladly. She could have given me drugs, you know, the other kind, and I would have taken anyway, to try to get rid of the pain I was in. Steve, my husband, got me some ice so I kept pressing that on my knee… but any little twist on my knee was hurtful… really painful still.
After a while, I stood up, went to the restroom and felt a little better. Very little… not really better, but I came back for the restroom, and told Steve I was going to try and see if I could ski again. He was not all for it but supported me in my decision. I would dare him not to! I put my gear back on and stepped back on my skis and took me on a new journey on the chair… alone because Steve was scared to death to go with me on the chair again! With reason!!
I was not putting absolutely no stress on my injured knee and I had to do a tremendous effort using my arms to pull me through the flat surface to get back to the chair lift, with the help of my poles. I was a little uncertain of myself but it felt right so I kept going and as it was not hurting, as long as I kept the weight only on the boot I was good and I arrived at the chair lift and off I went back up, alone in the chair with Steve following suit behind me on the next chair. He wanted to make sure I would be okay. Or was it? Is that love or remorse? I don’t know but I took that as at least caring… or was it guilty?
Before I went on the chair, I made absolutely sure that two chairs ahead of me would be empty as I didn’t want to have any incident ahead of me, making me consumed with anxiety… The chair lifters supervisor seemed to understand why. He asked how I was doing and only then I recognized him. He was the one who came to rescue the little girl on the top of the lift. He had come down, perhaps for lunch time, or maybe that episode traumatized him, I didn’t dare to ask, prompted by my bruised ego. However, it felt good that he asked me how I was doing. It showed that he cared, and perhaps felt bad for me. He must have seen so many incidents like mine on those mountains. So off I went up again, massaging my knee and when I was arriving on top, my heart skipped a bit or two. Fear tried to take over me and I felt less confident now but there was no way back and as soon as my skies touched the ground again, I pulled myself up, looking ahead and prepared to myself for the worse. My knee could give in, I knew that and my heart started to beat faster. It was a fraction of second and I was in “pizza” position. There was no one on top to distract me so I put my weight on my right leg and down I went. I was terrified to try to turn right and I knew at some point I would have to transfer my weight to the left leg to go to the right, so I was mostly in pizza position all the way to the bottom of the hill.
Steve never passed me as he always did the countless other times when we came down the hill together. He is very competitive and even knowing I’m just a beginner, actually a baby beginner as that was only my second day skiing, he would never let me pass him.
This time however, he stayed behind me the whole time.
Off course this is what I tell myself, as this could be only in my head and not in his… and that’s also why I was so slow… I was not putting any weight on my left knee. I went back up a few times after that and felt my confidence come back with each trip back up.
Steve denies he pushed me and he doesn’t believe in ghosts… but as there was only the two of us in that chair… and because I believe in spirits, I have to think that there was a freaking ghost in that chair with us!! However, because I don’t believe in mean spirits, well, at least I never encounter one that was mean up to this point in my life, what I really think is that I’m absolutely certain that my husband tried to kill me last week!
And as if that was not enough, as we got home and I’m off my feet to heal my swollen and painful knee, he is already planning another trip as soon as another snow storm hits Tahoe or anywhere else, maybe East Coast… Vermont perhaps… but this time I’ll be well prepared. My plan is to let him go on the chair ahead of mine and I won’t take my eyes away from him as he goes down the hill, and he wont have another chance to knock me down and glorify himself with an “accident” on the slopes. Hell, perhaps I’ll even wear knee braces next time and I’ll also bring a little cute pouch with pain killers.
Have a wonderful day!