"It Hurt So Bad"

September 17, 2008
By Allison Gruneich, Park City, UT

Some people’s most embarrassing moments occurred at home or a deserted library or at the movie theater on the sunniest day of the year or some place lucky like that. Nope, I don’t have that kind of luck. Sure enough, I was at a local ski resort. The snow was great that day, and the mountain was bustling with kids from my school. Great. You see, I’m the cautious type, always afraid of getting hurt. I’m especially careful when it come to snowboarding. In all my years on the slopes, I’ve only gotten hurt once, and that wasn’t even that bad. Thus proof of how reluctant I am to take a risk on my board.

I often like to hop off little bumps while snowboarding, but I was terrified to try any bigger jumps. Absolutely petrified. Yet I was convinced. You see, my friends’ explanations of the feeling of flying through the air intrigued me. I was curious about what it was like to be free from gravity for a precious moment. So I gathered up all the courage I could muster and decided to try it. “You only have to do it once,” I told myself out loud in a measly attempt to calm myself. “If you don’t like it, you never have to do it again.”

I listened carefully to my friends’ explicit directions, asking probably every question possible. None of their encouraging words would satisfy my nerves. “Don’t turn before going off the jump,” was the main concept they stressed. “…or else you won’t have enough power to clear the landing, which, well, could hurt.”

Nervousness consumed me. I went over the directions in my head possibly a million times before I finally rode off straight for the jump. “Knees bent,” I recited in my head. “Don’t tighten up. Extend your legs ever so slightly at the top of the jump.” I had prepared myself thoroughly, and I was ready. Everything was going as planned. Perfect and steady, I positioned myself well for a great jump.

Anticipating the sensation of flying clogged my thoughts. And right then and there I lost it, totally forgetting what to do. As I began to ride up the jump, my body tightened with the fear of going too high and falling like a shot bird crumbling from the sky. And that’s exactly what I did…I fell. But not exactly like a bird, which I always considered a symbol of gracefulness. I would more accurately call it a Plop, right there on the snow, flat on my face, before I even got to the jump. I was humiliated. I wasn’t a beginner at snowboarding, not at all. Yet there I was, lying there face-first on the smooth, easy trail, blocking the jump. I didn’t know what do to, so I just lay there. I couldn’t face my friends, so they would just have to come and get me. I could hear muffled giggles from the top of the hill. One of the bunch was obviously concerned and trying to stop the others’ laughter. That’s a good friend, I thought. In a matter of seconds they were all at my side.

“Are you alright?” someone asked as another lifted me into a seated position. Sure it had hurt, but nothing was wrong with me. My eyes were slightly wet, but more from embarrassment than pain. They assumed it was pain, which was a perfectly okay assumption to me. They helped me up and rode with me slowly to the base, where I called my parents and told them I was sore from a jump. They took it as I had actually gone off the jump, and that was exactly what I had intended. No need to tell them. But them I felt extremely guilty when my dad copiously congratulated me on going off a jump for the first time.

To this day, I cover up my most embarrassing moment with how “painful” it was, but believe me, since that excruciating moment, I’ve been convinced to try more jumps, and I’ve, well, gotten better. Sort of. At least I make it off the jump now.

The author's comments:
This story started as written record of my most embarrassing moment for an English assignment, but my imagination got the best of me and I got carried away. I finally stuck to this scenario, which I determined was much more embarrassing than my original idea. I liked the freedom of making up my own plot, so I could exaggerate to my heart's desire.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Sep. 22 2008 at 11:16 pm
Nice story, it was quite amusing. I know I have some moments like that, the only thing I would suggest is some editing for grammar, other than that...great!


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