In honor of the 2006 Winter Olympics going on in Torino, we traveled to Nagano - home of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
It's embarrassing to admit that the first time I went skiing I had to be rescued off a mountain by the ski patrol! It's a long story and yes that really did happen. :-o Nevertheless, after much consideration, I decided that I needed to give it another go and face my fears. To prepare for this great feat, I got a little liquored up on the Shinkansen ride (the bullet train).
I felt fine until I actually got there; and then my nerves started to kick in. Still, what really sent me over the top was when I realized that our ski instructor couldn't speak English! Ahhh, ok then let's begin.
Needless to say, we had a bit of communication difficulty throughout the entire lesson. On the bunny slope we couldn't figure out whether he was saying start or stop. To us it sounded like "starp." You can imagine what sort of mess it caused. We were crashing into him and crashing into each other and crashing into nothing too.
With that, we were ready for the next level. Like a pro, I'm tripping over my skis and falling on my butt all the way to the bottom. At times I felt tortured.
I'd scream "Arrgghh" and the instructor would say "arrgghh."
I'd say "Ouch" and he'd repeat "Ouch."
I said "Mister, do you understand that I'm in pain?" And he just smiled and left me there. :-s
I'm happy to report that I'm still alive.
At the end of my second day on the snow, I was practicing on my own and taking the lifts on my own. And, although I have lots more to learn, I felt like a champ in my own right for conquering my fears. =)