The best way to feel like an irresponsible adult
This past week I went to Austria on holiday to fall down. Granted there was a bit of skiing in between but ‘stacking it’ was my primary mode of transport.
Throughout the week I did improve and could confidently parallel turn and go down red runs by the end, I felt like I’d made significant strides towards becoming the next Super G champion, but there was one area of my skiing game which never really improved: my use of chairlifts.
You might think they were easy but I had my fair share of failures on them. The first thing I did wearing my skis was to take a tumble coming off a button lift. That was embarrassing. But not as embarrassing as when I was meant to be the ‘responsible adult’.
I arrived down a run at the same time as a ski school full of 6-10 year olds. The instructor, foolishly thinking I knew what I was doing, asked if I would be happy to go up the chairlift with two of his ski school kids. I thought that made sense and me and two little Austrians headed over to the entrance to the ski lift.
We got on OK. Sometimes I lined up poorly, sometimes I forgot to go through the gate before it closed, but we all got on safely this time. The first thing you do on a chairlift is to pull down the bar from above you, essentially so you don’t fall to your demise whilst on one of the safest parts of your holiday.
So, being the responsible adult, I tried to do this as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the bar wasn’t going completely down so I kept pushing it a little bit. Which was when I heard this “ow ow ow ow ow ow!” coming from my right. One of the kids hadn’t got their feet out of the way and I was pushing the bar down onto their ski which was causing them pain. Awkward.
However, we all got over this, I sulked in shame for the rest of the lift and the two kids happily chatted away in German. But, our journey was not yet over.
We reached the top of the chairlift and I tried to raise the bar. For some reason it wouldn’t go up. It was stuck on something but I had no idea what. By this time it was too late.
I heard a sustained scraping sound and then the workers stopped the lift. I managed to raise the bar, get off the chairlift and get to safety only to realise this is what caused the loud scraping I had heard:
I bent my poles.
This was an ultimate failure of adulthood. These kids were more taking care of me than I was of them. I can only hope that they learnt something from this experience: don’t get on chairlifts with stupid English people.