So I missed my stop!! Scheduling issues got in the way. I just could not pass on the opportunity to share with you one of Beth most awkward moments in her own words as it is so hilarious! I am sure you will enjoy this!
An embarrassing moment that turned out to be a godsend…
Thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of your blog.
And sorry that I’m going to use it to l tell you how awkward I really am – although you can feel really great that this hasn’t happened to you.
So… when I was younger, my school was pretty small and didn’t do loads of trips or cool stuff. But, one year they announced there would be the first ever ski trip. To lots of people I went to school with, this was no big deal. Not me. I had never seen a mountain, let alone slid down one.
I did all sorts of jobs and worked really hard, and managed to persuade my parents to let me go. THE TRIP WAS ON.
Some people were already prepared and got out their sexy salopettes (if that’s a thing). But I was hiring mine from a company out there and when I arrived I realised I was going to be spending the next five days in an outfit that was faded black-grey and made me look like the offspring of a Marshmallow man who’d procreated with a pack of highlighters.
But who cares?! The world would be dazzled by my sporting prowess, right?! RIGHT?!
Wrong. I couldn’t ski. All I could do was slide at speed until things stopped me (often small children, or concerned mothers).
Undeterred I carried on. I didn’t have much choice really, as the only other option was spending the day back at the hostel with a classmate who’d knocked herself out by skiing into a pillar. WHY PUT A PILLAR ON A SKI SLOPE? I will never know.
On day three it was time for my best friend and I to tackle a new obstacle – something that was almost as challenging to me as the actual not-dying-falling-off-a-mountain.
A T-bar ski lift. For anyone not lucky enough to have experience what is essentially a Cube challenge, but done in public, it involves an upside-down shaped T-bar, and two people have to sort of slide the horizontal bar under their bums and let it push them up the mountain. It’s a delicate procedure. Which should have stopped my friend and I singing and dancing along to ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It Stomp Your Skis’ as we were on it.
Halfway up the mountain, disaster struck. In a fit of giggles, we both lost our balance. My friend gracefully slid to the side. But oh no, not me. I splatted to the left, and as I did so, got the bar of the lift caught in my coat pocket. But surely it would pop out?
Oh no. It wedged firm, and started to drag me bum first up the mountain. Skiers and lift-ees started shouting and pointing. But it was fine – there was someone whose job it was to press stop when they saw an accident happen. That person did not press stop.
But at least I had skis right? No. The weird bum angle made my entire ski and boot fall off AND the ski on the other foot, meaning I was now getting to a place of no return in one sock and a boot. But at the end of the lift was these rails – like a giant toothbrush designed to flick off any unwanted items. Phew. The ordeal was almost over. I’d never been so grateful to be an unwanted item – because clearly no human could fit through those gaps. Could they?
I’ve never been more grateful for my padded-outerwear. I became maybe the first ever person to be dragged through those rails. Much to the horror/delight (it was hard to tell as they were all shouting in German) of everyone watching – especially the two people on the lift behind, who could see my face throughout, from a consistent 3m away, unable to get any nearer to help.
In the weird area normally only reserved for rubbish, and large carrier bags, I finally fell off the lift. I then had to try and get back out through the rails – a bit Army style, but in one boot – and trudge down the mountain to get my abandoned ski.
To put this in context, the walk took about five minutes. My sock absorbed over one hundred- snowman-fulls of snow. My foot was now so numb I was dragging it behind me like some sort of crazed salopette-wearing monster.
But retrieve my ski I did. And, as the hostel was too far away, I had to pull it all back on and get on with the rest of the day.
So why was this a godsend? My socks didn’t dry out for the whole trip, and everyday after that when I arrived the staff would point at me.
Well, I guess it was because before that moment, I’d been really stressed about how bad I was at skiing. And how I was wearing the oldest stuff out of all of my schoolmates. And how children who didn’t even come up to my knee were way better than I ever would be.
But after the worse had happened, I realised. The worst HAD happened – and nothing changed. Yes, some people probably went home and spoke about the shouting English girl they’d seen be hauled up a mountain like a toy on one of those grab machines at a fairground. But that was it.
And it wasn’t like the embarrassment stopped there. The day after it was followed by a test fire alarm in the hostel – which I’d totally forgotten about – meaning standing outside for an hour in knee deep snow, in pyjamas and socks. The people who lived there must have thought I had a shoe-phobia.
Years later the whole thing still makes me laugh. And avoid T-bar lifts.
Thanks for sharing Beth
You can follow Beth on Twitter @bethg