Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ironman Mode

A funny little story

Winter in Maine is fun for the Bancroft family. We do snow dances and cheer when the map is covered in blue blotches that read 12-15"!!! Why?? We embrace the climate we live in and head to the mountains when it's cold.  The kids all got on skis when they were two. Thanks to my expert skier husband, Mark, they were independent within a couple years. Now, at ages 12,10, and nearly 8, they are all Far more advanced in their technique and skills than their Momma.  Remember, I grew up underwater with goggle marks on my face every morning and night. Skiing was even a bit 'taboo' during swim season (ahem, winter!) because if we got hurt skiing and couldn't compete for the team, well, that was bad!  So, I didn't grow up with the boards strapped to my feet like my kids have. That being said, I can hold my own. I might not look pretty doing it, but I can basically ski anything and thankfully, I am strong enough to fake it when I'm over my head. haha,most of the time.
Last weekend, we skied all day both days.  Saturday was silly but we were hardcore and hung on long enough to see this:
Not a bad way to end the day. Especially when it started out like this;

This is my neice and her friend. Yes, they are wearing trash bags over their coats. Why?? It was raining!!! Ick! We were all soaked. Right through to our knees.  But as you rode the lift, and got higher, it froze a bit and coated your goggles in a film of ice, and you stuck to the back of the lift, and then , you were Blind! Haha, yes, we are crazy. And we love skiing. So, we kept on skiing and ignored our mushy ski gloves and damp knees.  You see, Western Maine had a beautiful 14+ inches of new snow a few days earlier. And overnight several more inches fell so the new snow was ungroomed. We had to enjoy the new powder. It was really great skiing by the afternoon when the sun came the top... and then you skied into the fog. Doesn't it sound like a great day??? It actually was...but it was very tiring. Skiing in 'wet' powder is hard on the legs.

Sunday was even better. The sun was out and we were making our first runs by 8:30! Sadly, Mark's back was very sore. He wasn't skiing hard & fast like his normal self. Late in the morning, we were riding up the Barker Mtn lift and Tommy said he realllllly wanted to ski Top Gun. Sure! I like that trail. Why not? ( it's double black diamond.... I sort of forgot this part... that's why not.)  Standing at the top trying to choose our trail, Mark said he could do it because of his back. I volunteered. "I'll go with you guys? Sure.. Let's go!" 

Two minutes in..
Oh. dear.god.
What have I done????

The trail looked something like this. And I'm sure I looked a bit like this poor soul.


 Not like this:

In my defense, I Can ski moguls. I sometimes even like them. But, this trail was LONG and the bumps were HUGE and there were NO breaks!!!! It went on and on and on.  I was only several minutes in and my quads were SCREAMING for mercy. Absolutely begging for mercy.  The boys just slid between them with ease and gradually got further and further away........
I stopped, and unzipped my coat a bit. I was sweating.
On and on and on. I could see Mark standing at the bottom---looking up and surely just shaking his head at me.  He was about 1 inch tall. That's how far away he was.
There's not a whole lot to tell here except this. I was hurting. My legs were truly burning. In a mattter of three days I had swum 4000 yards, run 17mi, skied 7 hours and biked for several hours too. Navigating those giant never ending bumps was super hard. I wanted to stop. I did stop and layed, no I fell down once.  Those Ironman races I have done have been experiences in and of themselves. They are days I'll never forget. But, so what? Well, that Ironman mentality I have developed came in handy that day!!  It was not life or death, it was all in good fun, but I still had to get down that trail. So, I truly tapped into my Ironman mode and did a little self talk, "If youkeep going you'll get there sooner. Ignore the pain, stay focused, just a few more to go..."
And then, I was there. And I laughed so hard I cried. I had big alligator tears rolling down under my cheeks while I cracked up at how absurdly hard for me that was that day. Mark hugged me empathetically. The kids were incredulous. Why is she crying? I told them how great they skied and that Mommy had to dig into her Ironman self to keep up. I was laying at the bottom of the trail, resting and laughing.  My big kid was embarassed. "Mommy!!! You should get up. People are looking at you!"  Ha.. I'm so over that Cam. :) 
I shook it off, floated down some easy terrain and moved on. It was a great day.

The boys- I'm not going to let them leave me in the dust quite yet...

1 comment:

Michelle Simmons said...

Great story! I cannot even start to relate. Like you, we (swim team) were not allowed to ski during swim season which meant I never learned how and then, well, I became an adult and never learned how then moved away from the snow. So seriously, if I were at the top of the mountain I would probably indeed just die. ;)