While driving home after lunch with a couple work friends, I saw some kids attempting to make a tiny mound a sledding hill. They appeared to be having loads of fun. It’s funny how, when you’re a kid, anything that makes even the tiniest bit of a slope, instantly becomes fun. Like, regular, level ground is dumb, but if you can roll in a downward direction, even for just a second, it’s the.best.thing.ever.
Hell, even just yourself and a substantial hill makes for a good time. You know what I mean, and if you don’t, I’m sorry, your childhood must have sucked.
This quick, drive-by snapshot reminded me of a time I thought sledding was a good time. It also recalled a time I must have had shit for brains because there was zero thought involved in any decision made that night.
Let me share with you why, today, I won’t go sledding. I won’t go, even for a cupcake. I won’t. Just no.
One winter, years ago, when I lived in little ol’ Elko, Nevada, it snowed absolute buckets. I have a post planned about my city girl adjustment to a little cow town, where it snowed for longer than 5 minutes, and it was so cold your snot froze in your nose the second you stepped outside. This little city slicker wasn’t prepared for country living, that’s for sure. But, that’s for another time.
Well, there was this hill. It was the renowned sledding hill. It also wasn’t for amateurs, pregnant women, or children under 5. This hill meant bizzness.
Now, before I go on, I have to explain that I’m the biggest, most unadventurous wimp you ever did meet. Roller coasters make me nauseous. I almost crapped my pants (like seriously) the first (and last) time I rode on the back of a dirt bike. I cling to my oversized flotation device, praying I don’t die in speed boats. I white knuckle it when I have to cross major intersections on my bike. I’m a dweeb when it comes to adventure sports, in that 10 times out of 10, I’ll wholeheartedly pass.
My time in Elko must have been spent certifiably insanely bored, because not only did I go sledding, it was my brilliant idea.
My boyfriend at the time, a friend, and I decided to go at night, so that the hill wouldn’t be crammed with snot-nosed middle-schoolers. We also decided at night no one would see the overweight idiots on too-small sleds.
Because everything I do must be a production, I had to wear my cutest knock-off Uggs, furiest ironically-ugly-hat, most stylish gloves, and my skull leggings. I was still too young and stupid to realize that snow was cold, and that fashion doesn’t matter when it’s -2 degrees.
While, this is a very cute outfit (and likely almost the exact one I wore), it is not what you wear sledding in Arctic conditions.
I had precisely one good trip down the hill, the first attempt. It was stupid fun. After that, it all went downhill, literally.
Because I chose to wear my “cute Uggs”, and not the sensible boots my boyfriend’s mom offered me, I had zero traction getting up the hill. If you don’t know, Uggs and many others like them, have very little tread, as in none. So, I looked like a hefty hamster in a wheel. I was definitely moving, but going absolutely nowhere.
It was pissing me off. My boyfriend and friend had gone up and down the hill numerous times, laughing like fools at all their fun, and there I was clinging to an exposed branch, halfway up the hill, praying I wouldn’t face plant again.
I had had it.
The next time my friend came by me, trailing her sled behind her, I made her privvy to my plan to get myself up the hill. She was hesitant at first, but agreed after feeling a sudden pity for the girl who was still not back up the hill 20 minutes later. Besides, if it all went crashing and burning, it wouldn’t be her hurting.
So, I steadied one foot, then knee into her sled, while praying the other foot wouldn’t go rogue.
See, my plan was to have my poor, weak, 5-foot-tall, diabetic friend pull.me.up.the.hill. Herself.
My boyfriend must have been off fucking some sagebrush, because why he wasn’t my first choice, I’ll never know.
Obviously, the second I got my other leg into the sled, and allowed all of my weight to settle firmly into the plastic vehicle of death, she let go. How in fucks sake I ever thought she could hold my obese self in a sled with a measly rope, makes me question my intelligence.
So, there I went.
Careening, hurtling, literally flying down the hill. Backwards.
Now, what I haven’t mentioned yet, because I haven’t even gotten to the part where I got to even fucking sled, is that the snow was so packed down due the traffic on the hill that it was hard as a rock. Due to the frigid temps, it was also pure ice. For future reference, there’s a very real, credible reason most people don’t sled at night.
Back to my terrifying trip to my eventual death.
I was screaming down an ice hill. BACKWARDS.
As if that wasn’t enough, I was heading straight for the jump. Yes, a jump. On my best, most adventurous, wearing-all-the-padding-and-protective-equipment-in-broad daylight-day, I would not have even let going off that jump ever, ever cross my mind. And there I was, going probably 200 MPH, backwards, speedily advancing on that death trap.
I think, in my near shock-induced stupor, I faintly recall hearing my boyfriend and friend yelling, “Fall off! Fall off, ya dummy!”
Well, there was no time to do that, as I caught impressive air when I hit that sweet spot. It was all ass-in-the-air-red-butt-crack-flapping-in-the-wind-snot-flying-fuzzy-hat-peace-ing-out ridiculousness.
Obviously, I survived my harrowing trip over the jump. Barely. On the other end? Soft snow? A soft, dying patch of grass? A gymnast’s pad left by a concerned parent? No. Shit no. Dirt. Frozen ground. I hit like an obese blow up doll filled with marbles.
Friend and boyfriend came running, concern mixed with laughing. Assholes.
Why didn’t you roll off?
I had exactly 2 seconds to realize what was happening, excuse me if I’m not Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.
Aside from scrapes, a few bruised ribs, and an even more damaged ego, I emerged fairly uharmed.
I’m actually pretty impressed with the air I caught. Tony Hawk would be jealous. I guess there are some positives to being fat-greater momentum!