Taking the Main Hill

January 12, 2009
By Carly Jackson, Sussex, WI

You’re safe at the top; you’re safe at the bottom. The main hill is dangerous, and the chairlift is too. You might fall. You will definitely judge, and you will for sure be judged. While on the lift, the skiers and snowboarders below are subject to criticism. Those with two snow devices and those with one device are separated by a stereotypical schism. A skier or boarder becomes the anathema not for his or her choice of device, however. There are more important rules to abide by.

Look cool. Make sure not to match another’s style. Be good at it. If you suck, you don’t deserve to be in the way. Take risks. And don’t you dare fall. I ski at a local membership hill, we know each other. It makes the pressure even worse. It’s not exactly utopia, but we have fun. The chairlift swoops my friends and I up to carry us to the top. We glide above the main hill.

A timorous four-year-old girl snowplows slowly with her arms hugging her stomach. She has to be shy. She sports a matching floral snowsuit. Her family must be weird to let her dress like that.

He’s about five. This child’s the opposite. He wears a helmet, so his parents must be protective. Seven inch spikes shoot out extending his head in every direction. He has one of those flamboyant helmet covers. His skis are parallel to each other, his knees are bent, and he’s in a tucked position. He zooms past the little girl running into her ski pole and sending her tumbling to the ground. This one’s a rude little brat.

A teenage girl is next. She is snowboarding. And well. Her turns flow, she has speed, and she’s in perfect control. She’s gliding downhill in a jaunty manor. Her Oakley goggles rest crooked on her forehead. She’s dressed in brand new expensive attire from head to toe. The ostentatious look even includes what must be a real animal fur hood. I’m jealous.

A fractious teenage boy impatiently skims the others on the hill. He’s annoyed they are in the way. He’s lightening fast. His look is colorful. He’s confident. This guy is cool.

We reach the top, turn the corner, and begin our decent. It’s our turn. I wonder who is on the chairlift as I perform the best I can.

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