No, I’m not suggesting there was a matching manicure and he likes me to call him Sally.
I’m saying that on the day of his ski accident, there was drama beyond the potential threat to his life over purple toenail polish.
Pythagoras was injured in a ski jumping competition that was part of a larger event held each year at that ski hill. In addition to all the “real” ski contests, there is a longstanding tradition of a bikini ski competition.
A competition I was somehow persuaded to enter that day.
I should mention that I do not ski. Not downhill, anyway, and certainly not in attire more suited for a Caribbean beach.
I don’t mean that in the faux-modest way that implies I’ve taken years of lessons and honed my skills to mediocrity. I mean that on the day of the competition, I had been on skis precisely once.
But this was a time in my life when I was young and bold and, admittedly, a little broke.
Pythagoras was fully supportive, and the contest was an equal-opportunity affair with both men and women swishing their way down the slope for a chance at the $300 grand prize.
Well, the others were swishing.
For me, it was more of a snowplow. This was a black-diamond run, and my greatest desire was simply to remain upright and not lose any body parts to frostbite.
Somehow, I did that. I even had the foresight to cross my arms when passing the judges’ table and perform a little half-shiver, half shimmy maneuver that, miraculously, did not cause me to topple headfirst into a tree-well.
By the time I reached the bottom, I was so delighted with my own survival that claiming the $300 grand prize almost seemed like an afterthought.
I used the money to buy an ancient Volkswagen with no door handle and a non-working heater, and I’ve used the story time and again to remind myself to take more risks.
I think of it whenever I’m being a chicken about trying something new – writing my first manuscript, querying agents for the first time, trying a different style of writing – anything that’s a little bit terrifying.
I remind myself of the day I was brave enough (or insane enough) to strip off my clothes, strap sticks to my feet, and point them down a snowy slope.
If I can do that, what’s a little literary terror?
So what is the scariest thing you’ve done? What bold maneuvers are you planning in your future? Please share in the comments!
|Getting ready for my bikini ski competition.|
|A bystander attempts to capture footage of me getting dressed afterward. Classy!|