“Word up Crissi, you must be a library book, cuz I’m checking you out!”
Who called me with this message?!? It had me in hysterics! I’m guessing Jana, but nobody left a name. Clue, please?
Anyway, I’m nursing a bruised tailbone due to a horrible fall on Wednesday when I went snowboarding. That’s right, Crissi got off her duff and did something sporty! I haven’t snowboarded in 10 years. When I calculated that, boy did I feel old! To say that I haven’t done something in 10 years, and I was a teenager then? Wow.
Being in the Sierras brought back some old memories and good feelings. When I was younger, our family used to go up to the snow almost every weekend. We had a cabin there, and some of our family lives up there, and we felt special to be treated like the locals. They had a bar there where everyone actually DID know our name. My parents aren’t drinkers, but that’s where all the locals hung out.
Up on the mountain, it was the same thing. We knew a lot of the workers at the lodge. Alpine County is one of those places where if you see a hitchhiker and you had room, you picked them up. Cabin doors are left unlocked, cuz everyone’s trustworthy. I don’t think it’s that trustworthy anymore due to the growing popularity. But you still get that small town feeling, or at least a small town hosting a huge party!
I was nervous about getting up on that hill. I’d skied in recent years, but still felt trauma over a huge accident I’d had at age 12. And I was unsure if I’d snowboard or ski this trip. The trip was totally spur of the moment, decided upon the night before. I barely slept that night, and it took a full 30 seconds at 5 am to figure out what that horrible beeping sound was….my alarm.
I didn’t actually make up my mind until right before we got there. I decided to take a lesson, but we got there too late. So I decided to “wing” it. I figured I’d done it before, I’d more or less figure it out. But one step onto that board, and I was afraid I’d made a huge mistake. I practiced on some small hills before heading to the lifts, and could only go a distance of one foot before falling on my fanny. Oh, man, what did I get myself into? I decided to try a little bit larger hill, and was able to make more of a distance due to slightly increased speed, before falling again. I took a chance and headed towards the lift.
I sat alone on that lift, watching the boarders whizzing by below me. I eavesdropped on the instructors of boarding classes, trying to retain some sort of information that would save me from killing myself down that scary bunny hill. And I watched the boarders in front of me glide off the lift at the top of the hill. I prepared my board, guiding it straight and placing my unlocked boot in the center of the board. And when my board reached the snow, I stood up precariously and fell off the lift….
And even worse, when I finally made it to safety from being plowed over by hotshot bunnyslopers, I realized that the zipper on my snow pants shell had split. I sat there in the freezing snow for 20 minutes, fixing the darn things. A tip for all you beginners out there, snow pants shells are only water resistant. The snow will soak all the way to your underwear if you’re not careful.
Well, I finally did fix it, and precariously got up. I stood, looking at the enormous downhill. And I decided it wasn’t that bad. I pushed off. I remembered how to stop, so I’d go straight, then stop, then straight, then stop. And this time I only fell 15 times. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
But with practice, I was able to get down that hill faster and faster, with fewer falls. I even was able to realistically pretend that I looked like I knew what I was doing. And the guy at the bottom of the lift commented several times that I was getting there pretty fast. I just told him I was falling faster. And my last run? I made it off the ski lift without falling until the bottom of the area! That’s when I fell on my tailbone. And I felt it all the way into my teeth. But I had made it without making the lift operator stop the lift altogether. And she gave me a verbal back pat.
This whole experience sort of reminded me of my walk with Jesus. Bear with me here, I’m really not reaching. I’ve been so negative lately, for those of you who know me. I’ve been pretty cynical. Know what I’ve also been? Out of practice. I haven’t served, at least not beyond my reasonable service. I don’t even think I’m reaching my reasonable service. I’ve been pretty comfortable in my life. I remember the rush I felt after New Orleans, how on fire I was to serve and spread the love of God. And I look at my life now, and it’s such a disappointment. When I get together with friends and we talk about Jesus and helping humanity, I feel that spark, but I’m not letting it light. It’s going to take me getting up on that hill, taking a deep breath, and letting myself go at full speed. And when I reach the end, it’s going to take me getting back on that chair lift and going again. Sitting at the bottom of that hill, taking baby steps only, that’s not going to get me anywhere. I need to keep up the momentum, practice what I’ve learned, and improve on what I need to learn. I need to use others to help me reach higher heights. And I need to keep that fire lit.