Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)
TITLE: Bunny Hill To Mountain Slope
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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I was afraid that I would not take to the sport because two of my least favorite things are being cold or wet. Deliberately placing oneself in the position where both are inevitable seems ridiculous, but when coupled with hurtling down the side of a mountain at breakneck speed becomes lunacy. They, however, are convinced that I, like they, will love it.
After surviving the walk, if we can call the slipping, sliding traverse from the parking lot a “walk”, we reached the slope. The others were talking quietly, “Who’s going to stay with Jen on the bunny hill?” I heard the whisper. They finally decided to take shifts with Nate, my boyfriend, staying behind first. He watched longingly as the others ran to the chairlift.
I learned the most important lesson of skiing quickly that day – the best way to stop is to fall down. This was followed, of course, by the second most important lesson – do not attempt to get up until your skis are facing sideways on the mountain. I learned this after a short, thrill-packed ride backwards down the slope, having struggled to an upright position with the back of my skis facing downhill. This lesson took a little longer and a great many more falls to master.
At last, to Nate’s relief, I was ready to tackle the snowplow, the second best way to stop and vastly more dignified. To snowplow you simply, correction – with great difficulty, you bring the tips of your skis together while pressing outwards with your legs. Eager to practice my new skill I told Nate he could leave and find his family who were having a wonderful time actually skiing.
After some practice I was able to ALMOST stop using the snowplow method. Eventually, I came down the hill, concentrating, eyes glued to the tips of my skis, willing them to come together, struggling to turn my feet in and press down. I was slowing down. I pressed harder. I was stopping. Then it happened! I actually stopped! I looked up with the thrill of victory in my smile and there, just three feet from the tips of my beautifully snowplowed skis lay a little lady on the snow, arms crossed in front of her face, terror stricken eyes staring up at me. I had snowplowed to a stop in the nick of time!
Just as I was beginning to enjoy the bunny hill Nate’s sister arrived. I demonstrated my snowplowing skill without endangering anyone’s life. She was duly impressed. “You are ready for ‘THE CHAIR’,” she declared. Actually I was ready for my bed, but a chair in front of a warm fire would suffice. I was SO tired and cold and wet! I was by no means ready for “THE” chair but she insisted, “Nate will be so impressed.” Indeed!
Nate was pleased when I said I would attempt the chair. To be impressed required a little more. Our descent was difficult from the outset. Moguls and ice covered the slope. Before long Nate took off my skis and carried them as I attempted to slide down the hill on my boots. Being reasonably intelligent, although questionable at that moment, I recognized my limitations quickly. Sitting down on a pile of snow, tears streaking down my frozen face, I moaned, “Just go! Leave me here to die.” Poor Man! What do you do with a crying girl halfway down a mountain, waiting to die? I don’t know if he prayed or if it was a case of “Before they call I will answer”, but at that moment a large snowplow came down the hill. Stopping beside us, the driver looked down at me, a shivering, tear streaked, lump of humanity. “Looks like someone could use a lift,” he said as he got down and helped me into the warm plow.
Although I failed that ski test, Nate did marry me. I even skied again but stayed on the bunny hill until I was actually ready for the mountain slope.
Isaiah 65:24a NIV
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