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Monday, March 25, 2013

Crested Butte- You can dance if you want to

Day 1: Life in an ideal setting.
I woke up several times in the night, to a far off beeping. The only thing I remember thinking before falling back asleep: "hope that's not a carbon monoxide detector." Clearly, I'd be helpful to have around in an emergent situation. Apparently, my ability to sleep through a persistent beeping noise, also, still persists. Later, I was getting up, when Maggie's came in, very apologetically, and declared apologies for her beeper. As an EMT, it's always on, and she's learned to sleep through it, if she's not needed. Apparently, so have I. It's more likely that my extreme lack of sleep, made me comatose.
I was psyched for my 1st day on the mountain, and to meet my instructors, as well as, reconvening with he the ladies. Unbeknownst to me, Ladies camp, didn't officially begin until Saturday. I saw Elaine, and Julie, both of whom I knew from the year previous. They are both long-time veterans of ladies camp. This camp feels like a close-knit family, it's members change, each year, but everyone is welcomed. After saying so many hello's, I made it to the area, where all the snow gear is kept. Maggie helped me find all the gear I'd brought. Just as I sat down, I heard a familiar voice, say my name. I looked up, to see Alex, whom I'd met last summer, on Lake superior, in Wisconsin, with Push America. Alex and I had been partners during the tip-test (when you intentionally tip your boat, to ensure you can free yourself from its confines, should your boat ever flip). We both escaped the flipped boat, if you're wondering. He also was kind enough to he me find my gate, at the airport, when the time came to head home. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched to have another connection, right then. Alex was interning with the ASC, and assisting Marc, the instructor I rode with. Marc was a very easy-going, calm, but excitable, type of guy to work with. Right away, I felt at ease talking about my difficulties, where I've been, and previous experiences. We discussed the snow wing, as I'd only used that piece of equipment, last year, with the ASC. I was really surprised, when he told me, he'd prefer to try hand-held assist, at least for he first day, because he suspected my comfort level was the highest, with that type of assistance. That was correct, but, I'd genuinely expected to be asked to try new things. I was relieved, and pleasantly surprised. Last year, I never had the chance to see, or interact with the other ladies, as I never went on the the trails they did, once. I was really surprised, when they brought me up Indian Brook, and Houston, that first morning. Those are 2 of the runs, that I repeatedly heard about, from the other ladies, last year. It was breathtaking to catch glimpses of som of the surrounding peaks, after we'd gotten off the chairlift. For all of the times I must've asked about the elevation, I still cannot recall. I feel like whatever number I drag out my cluttered mind, it would be a great injustice. Being in terrain like this, is breathtaking. Figuratively, and literally. It's a bit like the 'on top of the world feeling' that comes about, when you climb a huge mountain, and are able to see for vast expanses. Not really though, as there were so many surrounding peaks, in eyesight. Still breathtaking though!
Right from the beginning, Marc was very adept with providing direction, helping me to prepare my mind, and body, or he adjustments I needed to make, with each turn. Every year I ride, I've worked on linking turns, with hand held assist. This year, more than ever, I've really felt like I'm using the assist, as a security blanket, for my slowed visual processing, and my balance. I need to relearn trust in my own abilities, but that is, really, he hardest part. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I catch edges with Marc, or whomever has my hands, or no matter how many epic crashes I endure (there have been a lot this year), I still have a very hard time trusting my own abilities, or whatever they are, at this point. Nonetheless, when they found a suitably safe place, to Give me my freedom, lost my cool, and my posture disintegrated, and I went down. Repeated that move several times, until I began to get really exhausted. Marc, again helped me get myself down the rest f the slope, while Alex kindly got photos, and videos, on my phone camera. At this point, I'm fairly certain, my phone has a better camera, built into it, then my 5 year old digital camera.

We headed in for lunch, and I bumped into Elaine, and Julie, 2 of the women I knew from last years trip. They're both longtime veterans of the camp. I was really excited to have the opportunity to catch up with them. We each enjoyed plump, juicy hamburgers, before returning downstairs to Adaptive. And, my day wasn't even over yet. Marc and Alex helped me conquer more of the slopes that afternoon. There was plenty more breathtaking scenery, comical falls, and fantastic camaraderie. We headed in, around 4. I couldn't I tell, then, but, as soon as my muscles began o cool off, I knew id worked hard. Maggie concocted a delicious stir-fry dinner, that night, before we rushed across town, to catch a comedy show with a disabled headliner. If I recall correctly, he was living with cerebral palsy, And, had  an unbelievably hilarious method, of making fun of himself. Occasionally, it would get pretty crude, and I found myself wanting to laugh, but feeling like I was crossing a line, if I did. He jokingly described is parenting abilities, responsibilities as man of the house, and even heckled audience members.  All in a good night, if you ask me(maybe, because I was spared from being put on the spot!)                


Julie/Mom said...

Well, great to hear about your boarding trip,even if it's a little late. I'm so happy you had a good time and were able to meet up with old acquaintences. After this year's accomplishments, next year should be a breeze! Now on to summer adventures...I can't wait to hear all about those. Have a great time in NYC and say hi to Amber for me.
Love you the most!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the detail of the first part of your trip to Crested Butte.