Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reality & Fantasy

As most people that have known me my entire life know, when I was 13 years old, I broke both my legs skiing.  In my class we have been learning about the differences between reality and fantasy.  I told them the following story and then we made a chart about what is probably reality and probably fantasy.  Let's play the home version and see if you can tell which parts are which.

When I was 13 years old, I really wanted to learn to ski.  I begged my dad and low and behold he agreed to sign me up for the Deseret Ski School.  The fee for this class was $5.00.  There was only one problem; I didn't have skis.

Fortunately, at this time, my dad was a professional connoisseur of yard sales. It was a lovely fall Saturday evening when he returned home with the longest set of skis I had ever seen.  They were jumbo skis and stretched from the floor to the roof of our house.  They were at least 20 feet long and took the shape of 2 torpedos.  Apparently, the skis were built for Mark Eaton (in the story I said Andre Karalinko because they have no idea who Mark Eaton is) and he had discarded them long ago.  I was flabbergasted by the size of the skis.  My dad reassured me that like everything in life, the bigger the better.  I would be the envy of the slopes.

Well, the time came for me to challenge myself on the mountain.  My dad strapped the skis to the top of the car.  They were so long that they bent over the hood and the ends almost touched the ground.  

When we arrived at Alta, I was clearly the hit of the resort.  A line of people gathered as my dad took off the skis from the top of the car. It took both my dad and I to carry them, one of us on each end. I could feel the flash bulbs pop as we walked down a stunned line of spectators, their mouths open and their eyes unblinking.  They had clearly been stunned by the size of these skis.

As we reached the ski lift, I felt a sense of relief.  Here I was, finally realizing my dream of skiing and the eyes of the resort would finally be off of me. The lift swung around and it was our turn to hop on.  Unfortunately, the size of the skis made just "hopping on" nearly impossible.  The workers had to pull the emergency switch and the entire ride came to a jolting stop.  The lift was clearly not built to hold such enormous skis and the workers improvised by duct taping the torpedos to the bottom of the chairlift.  With my dad now comfortably by my side, the man pushed the "unemergency button" and up we went.

While we traversed to higher altitudes, it soon became clear that the weight of the skis, combined with the weight of my dad and I were creating quite a drag on the motor of the lift.  In addition, our weight bent the wires and we were traveling just a mere 10 feet above the white slopes.  We looked like a fat chicken wearing stilts hanging from a power line.  It was a ridiculous display.

After what seemed like a two hour journey (thanks to the drag we created on the engine belt) we finally reached the summit.  Again, they had to pull the emergency button to stop and they used box cutters to release the colossal sticks.  

My dad and I walked the skis over to the edge of the slope and looked down.  The hill was as long as the eye could see and bent at about a 70 degree angle.  As my dad aimed the skis in just the right direction, tears filled my eyes with dread.  I was having second thoughts and these thoughts drove deep into my soul.  My father then lifted me up in my ski boots and dropped me right into place.  The bindings locked into place with a large clank, like the sound of a prison door slamming.  There was no turning back now.

I felt the cool winter breeze and asked my dad to zip up my coat.  He came around in front of me.  At that moment, I sneezed, we tilted ever so slightly forward and our ride began.  My father, being the tall man that he is immediately wrapped his long legs around my waist, twice.  We screamed down that hill like we had a rocket down our back.  My dad started screaming like a little girl.  He belched out a high pitch squeal so loud that it pinched the eardrums of the birds sitting in the pine trees and they fell to earth, dead.

As we built up speed, my dad's gigantic torso blocked any view I had of where we were headed.  However, my dad was able to turn his head just far enough around to see that we were in fact headed straight for a cliff.  It was at this time that my father, being the frightful man that he is, unwrapped his legs from my waist like Stretch Armstrong and dove into a snowbank.  "Thanks dad!", I thought and I readied myself for what was to become an even more intense ride.  

I closed my eyes as I went off the cliff.  My velocity threw me threw the air near the speed of light.  I looked to my left to see a flock of trumpeter swans staring at me in amazement as I floated by them.  Suddenly, I had an idea!  I would use my coat as a parachute.  I pulled off my coat and held each sleeve in the air to create an airpocket in the center.  It worked!  My forward motion was halted and I looked like Mary Poppins with skis as I gently floated to the ground.  

To my dismay, the same flock of swans that I had passed minutes before were now flying directly into my path.  A swan flew right into my coat and the airpocket that I had so successfully created had popped.  I began to catapult toward the ground at an alarming speed. 

The earth began to get closer and closer to my face.  At last, I smacked into the earth and rolled into a rock.  I looked at my legs and my feet were backwards.  Pain swelled from my toes to my thighs.  I screamed in agony.  I had broken both legs.

My dad had watched the entire fall from his binoculars.  He raced down the slope and was soon at my side.  He grabbed one of my legs, popped off the binding and untwisted with one jerk.  It was easy for him, like twisting off the lid of a jar.  For me, it was pure torture.  He decided not to untwist my other leg.  The doctors could do that.

Soon, a crowd gathered around me as I screamed and moaned.  The ski patrol quickly arrived and towed me off on a sled behind a snowmobile.   It would have been an awesome ride, if I could have remembered any of it.

There it is.  The story of how I broke both my legs.  Can you tell which parts are reality and which are fantasy?  Make your own graph and submit it to me via email.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Hmmmm. I know you broke both legs so that is reality. I think you were 13 so again, reality. I know it was while you were skiing . . . reality. Your dad was probably with you . . . reality. Maybe Deseret Ski School . . . reality. The rest is probably fantasy????

I hope you do a follow-up post so I'll know how much is true!