Growing up, I was lucky enough to spend my summers in Virginia horse country at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. And, while it’s true that I never learned to ride, I did learn that my grandmother raised her daughters who raised their daughters the right way: Never rely on a husband or a trust fund, because you never know when either one might run out. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could have been a trophy wife with a drinking problem. It just wasn’t in the cards. I love doughnuts, I hate doctors, and I’m a complete misanthrope. Other than that, I’d have fucking nailed it.
In any case, the point is that, like everyone in that part of the world, my cousins had horses and rode competitively. They did dressage, but some of their friends did cross-country and show jumping, and some of them did all three, which is also known as eventing. If you’ve never seen it, you should. It’s basically the equestrian world’s equivalent of a triathlon. Personally, I can’t figure out how they do it. I can barely master a horse that eats quarters instead of hay and goes in circles… electronically. But I love the idea of riding, especially three-day eventing because they actually say things like, “my comfort zone is crotch height.” Yes, really. It allows them to use their bodies as human tape measures when gauging a jump.
Now, just to make sure we’re on the same page, God help all of us if I ever decide to take up that sport; because, at forty-two, I’m pretty sure boob height is rapidly approaching crotch height, and no one wants to have that conversation with me, especially at a competition sponsored by Rolex. Seriously. You should simply trust me when I tell you that would be out of everyone’s comfort zone, particularly since I’m not above using hand gestures if I feel like there’s ambiguity and my safety is on the line.
Anyway, I also love that eventers will tell you they do it, “three ways in three days.” Otherwise stated, they do one event each day: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. So what does all of that have to do with this post? Well, nothing and everything, so stay with me. We’re almost there.
You see, every year I take a ski trip out west; and this time, since it was just TB and me, we decided to get multi-mountain passes for Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge. The idea was to hit Keystone’s Outback and do some tree skiing on day one, head over to A Basin on day two for Pallavicini, one of Colorado’s steepest runs, and then wrap up with a day of moguls off the South Side of Peak 10 at Breck. Three days. Three ways: Trees, pitch and bumps.
Honestly though, for two women in their forties, I would tell you that we held our own… OK, that's a lie. TB held her own because she stills run marathons. Given that I only run my mouth and errands, on the last day, my legs were simply shot. But, because I'm an idiot, I agreed to head over to Peak 9, which has extremely tight ungroomed mogul runs, and it was a mistake.
So, there we are... on a run called Devil’s Crotch… and I’m looking more like something from Rosemary’s Baby than Warren Miller… when I hear TB say, “Stop fighting the mountain and start working with it.” Which, in her defense, is very Zen; but, in my defense, may not be altogether accurate… because I feel like I’d be a biter and a hair-puller in a fight (I have no empirical evidence to support this theory, but I’m pretty sure I’m right)... and I decide, “You know what, I’ll do it.” So I sit into it… and I’m hauling… and it feels really good… until I hit the biggest mogul of my life… and it hits me right back.
I *might* have peed myself, but I’m not really sure, since I don’t actually know how long I laid there, but I can tell you this: When you come to, and your ass is near your armpit, you’re not only out of your comfort zone in any sport, you’re out of your league. On the up-note, when I got home and called my mother to tell her about the trip, she said, “At least the only thing that died was your dignity.”
Talk to you later.