January 3rd, 2004

Goth kid


I laid there on my back, staring at the clear, dark sky and all of the tiny snowflakes in it, for what seemed like an hour. I reflected on my comment to Mike from about 30 minutes earlier: "Well... I'll probably regret doing one last run, but let's go!"

As we approached the top of the lift, I started to feel the sense of doom and, even though we'd just done this run three times in a row, I started to get the feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong.

We set out down the trail, which was uncomfortably narrow. I navigated it well, and despite the ice, made the 180 degree turn halfway down pretty easily. I even remembered to go around the huge whoop-de-doo that was hidden in the dark spot. I'd sat there for about 40 minutes earlier in the day, catching my breath and watching rider after rider eat shit on that spot.

Confidence regained, I decided to try to catch some air off a smaller jump. I landed it, then lost control and bit. It wasn't a huge bail, but enough to make me be a bit more cautious the rest of the way down.

At the spot where the trail rejoins the green run, there's a huge flat area. You have to get going pretty fast to make it through without stalling. I pointed my board straight down and burned through it. I could see the lift and the bottom of the hill and I knew I'd be in the car soon heading home. I started a wide toe-side turn to slow down a bit, as I was still hauling ass from the flat. As I drifted sideways, I looked around behind me to see if Mike was coming up behind me. I set my focus on one guy to try to figure out if it was him, for just a bit too long and lost my concentration. I was still going way fast.

Just as I started to snap myself back to paying attention, I caught my heel edge... hard. My body catapulted backwards and was airborne. As I flew silently through the air, I became frighteningly aware of exactly how high in the air I was, how fast I was traveling, and how badly this was going to end.

I landed... er, crashed... violently on to my back and head. In my brain, I heard a noise that reminded me of the Flintstones, when Fred would slam something over Barney's head and the sound effect would be a sort of musical drum. I slid backwards a few feet as my feet flew past my face, and quickly stopped. The muscles in my neck tightened up, and I spent a few minutes deciding whether I should try to get up, or just lay on my back and cry.

Eventually, as the migraine started to set in, I turned over, spun around, and got up on to my knees. I could see, which surprised me. I looked at the beginning of the Steve shaped trail in the snow and could see a deep impression of my head and shoulders. Realizing it might not be much longer before I passed out, I rode the rest of the way to the bottom and met up with the rest of my people.

Somehow, I didn't die or suffer a concussion. I live to ride another day.