Thanksgiving and a little memory lane

Goodness gracious so many amazing things have happened in the last few days that have made me just so delightfully happy!

Thanksgiving with my family, my oldest brothers family, my sister in laws family, my younger but older than me brother and his girlfriend and the most exciting one…my 10 month old niece Madison or as I like to call her, Maddog. She is the s***. Coolest and cutest baby ever! We had Thanksgiving at my brothers place for the first time. It was so nice to have such a great crew to recognize all that we are thankful for.

After stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving, my younger but older than me brother, his girlfriend, my dad, my dog and I hopped into the suburban and drove 4 hours to Burlington, Vermont. I was so giddy to be coming up here because I knew I would get to ski for the first time in 335 days. I ski about twice a year now on Thanksgiving and Christmas so I am always excited when I get the chance. It’s a far cry from the essentially year round skiing I did for nearly 17 years.

So we get up to Burlington and my dad asks me what time I want to be at the mountain. “What time does it open?” 7:30. “Alright, then 7:30 it is.” My dad was shocked that I didn’t want to sleep in. Alarm set, clothes laid out and skis ready, I fall into a deep sleep. I wake up to Miley Cyrus We Can’t Stop – that song just gets me going – I run downstairs, make my breakfast, brew my coffee and throw my ski clothes on. Eeeeeeek! I could barely contain my joy!! It’s like a luxury for me now. I get all geared up in my free ski outfit, grab my coffee to go and jump in the already warmed up suburban. It’s 7 am so we are running a wee bit late but we end up getting their around 7:45, on the lift at 8 am.

HOLY CRAP was it cold! 7 degrees to be exact. My body hasn’t felt that kind of frigid weather in what seems like eternity. Suck it up Kara. As we head up the chairlift, I have memories of my ski racing career. I turn to my dad and say, “You know, I do not miss racing at all.” It’s a weird feeling for me since it was my life for so long. But it is finally nice to enjoy skiing for skiing, not for how fast I can wiggle my way around some sticks in the snow as fast as humanly possible.

First few turns on snow and I’m back at it, laying my skis on edge, nuking down the mountain I grew up skiing on since I was a mere 2 years old. I have to say I am not my fearless self anymore; I stopped when I got going too fast and I skidded when I saw death cookies (if you are a skier, you know the damage those babies can cause!), but laid them on edge when the snow was money. My hip hurt but I didn’t care especially when we took a run down Nosedive. It was by far the best run. It was rock solid and it was the kind of surface that I could cut into with my trusty Dynastar slalom skis and just juice it like no other, making fluid turns that brought a smile to my face. That is when I realized I kind of missed racing. 🙂

We took about 6 runs in an hour and 20 minutes and since I am a sissy now, we had to go in the Octagon at the top of the mountain for a coffee/hot cocoa mix break. I see all the little racers getting their hot cocoas and cinnamon buns covered in frosting and I am instantly taken back to my first few years at the Mount Mansfield Ski Club. Those were the days. We would ski all day and never tire. We would nuke around the mountain, cutting off people everywhere we went and then get yelled at by ski patrol but we didn’t care, we just wanted to ski fast. “I wanna go fast!”

Gone are the days where I never tire. After our coffee break, I turn to my dad and ask, “Can this be the last run?” I felt guilty because I never get up here to ski, but my legs, my back and my hip were at the end of the road for the day. So we did one more run down Nosedive and boy, did I make it count! I laid those skis over and brought myself back to my racing days, digging that ski into the hard ice and coming out of each turn with so much power that it shot me right into my next turn! I also used to make race car noises when I skied and sure enough found myself making the same noise. Vroom, vroom, vroooooooom. Yes I am a dork but it was that last run that made me realize how much fun I was having.

That last run there was no stopping, no skidding, no fear; I just went for it, left it all on the hill as I was taken down memory lane. I am so thankful that I still have the ability to ski like I used to even though I might not be able to rip through gates anymore. I appreciate the sport more now as it is a choice to go up there, not a chore as that was what it became my last few years. Needless to say, am already looking forward to skiing at Christmas with my dad. I know I will appreciate it even more because it will be my last time until next Thanksgiving.

Who knows, maybe I will make it an entire on the slopes day by then, especially since I know that a little over a week after Christmas I will be in surgery for my Labral tear and then in bed for an entire week while I recover. If you live in Burlington or the surrounding area, feel free to come visit me and my parents place as I will probably be going crazy sitting on my tushy all day. 🙂

Two thumbs up for this girl!

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