Over my skis

I woke up yesterday morning dreaming about my skis I bought when I was a freshman in college. They were the pair of skis in the photos above. They were my identity, is what I dreamed. My bright orange Olin Mark IVs.

I bought them in Everett, Wash. near my hometown of Snohomish. I was a student at the University of Washington in Seattle. The sales guy who sold me the skis was cute and he asked me to go skiing with him.

I remember the day so well. It was raining on the mountain and the snow was thick slush and totally unskiable (if that’a word?)

We had lunch in the ski lodge and headed down the mountain in the sales guy’s sports car, a small Fiat, which broke down on the way home. Those were the days before cell phones, but somehow we got back to Everett and my car. Once we got to the sales guy’s apartment, a friend and coworker from the ski shop came over with a case of beer. Apparently it was payment of a bet on if I’d go skiing with him.

I loved skiing. I enjoyed it so much, that I went to Sun Valley with a girlfriend on Spring break to ski. We decided then and there that we’d take off our sophomore year to become ski bums. We got jobs and an apartment lined up on our Sun Valley ski vacation for the next ski season.

My parents weren’t sold on me taking off a year of school. They were sure it would get me off track and they feared I wouldn’t go back to school.

As luck would have it, I didn’t make it to the next ski season because I ran across a street and froze like a deer in the headlights and got hit by a pick up truck. My girlfriend went ahead with the Sun Valley season — and no she didn’t make it back to the UW.

It reminds me of the saying to get out over your skis.

What moment have you had when your plans dramatically changed from what you had planned?

40 thoughts on “Over my skis

  1. I remember reading about your accident and how you went through a long and painful recovery. As the day about the best laid plans of men and mice!

  2. Oh my goodness…I’m a newer follower and didn’t know about your accident, Elizabeth. So sorry to hear about that. I’m don’t ski but I have a dear friend who’s an avid winter sports fan and she loves to remind me…when I’m getting whipped into a frenzy of my own making… that I shouldn’t ‘get out over my skis’…so she must mean TOO far out, like tipping over? I’ve always loved her wisdom/warnings…but your post helped me understand it better. 😉

  3. Normally I would write something funny and profound here, but not this time. Without going into detail, two events altered my life plans: The first time I heard a bullet go by my ear, and when I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Neither moment was funny. Maybe that is why I try to add humor to everything?

  4. The moment that changed my life was being in a volvo driven by my brother in the mountains. There was a 4 way stop ahead and he slowed down but the oil rig picked up speed, sped through the 4 way intersection and hit us throwing my mom through the windshield and my brother and I were thrown out of the car. Luckily my mom told me ‘lie down’ before the impact and I did. I was always very afraid of cars and driving but after my mom recovered after a very long hospital stay she made sure that I got my license and I drove in the City of New York when I worked at different locations for the Property Appraiser’s Office taking photos of buildings to be sold. I used my fear to move forward and recognize this is my character. I hate to be afraid of anything. Fear is healthy but letting it hold you back is not.

    • Wow. That’s a terrifying story. Your mom is a wise woman to make you drive in NY City. I have had fear the last few years of driving. I think it’s flash backs to my accident.

      • That’s good. I’ve gotten so paranoid riding as a passenger or a driver that the experience is physically painful to me. It’s something I endure.

      • Well, the job in the City paid much better than the garment center! No brainer. The small town I lived in was very good to my mom who worked at the school as a teacher’s aide. The other driver was part of a family business (oil company). Years later, he married my favorite English teacher. The politics of a small town: one always remembers. Enjoy the day!

  5. I am in the group that had no idea about the accident! Wow, talk about life changing. I faced a major health issue about 3 years after my youngest was born. I remember looking back about 6 years ago around the time my divorce was finalized. I came to the realization that the crisis was the first real clue that my marriage would not last. Some might say I manifested the end of my marriage over time after that but I see that it was a tipping point in a long line of clues I was ignoring.

  6. I’m am [or was?] an only child and when my widowed mother got cancer I stopped working to care for her for a few years. My plan had been to get into corporate communications and climb the ladder. BUT once she was gone I decided to forget my plan, having realized while being outside the work world that I’m much better handling things on my own. And a free spirit was born.

  7. That’s a tough detour! I thought my life after college was laid out: move to Oregon, get an accounting job, marry my fiancé. I couldn’t find a job. Then he wrecked my trust in him and I told him to leave, it was over. He went to Durango and cajoled me into joining him. He never worked out for me, but Durango is my perfect place!

  8. That’s a crazy story with lots of ramifications. I heard about your accident but not how it affected your life so drastically. I remember telling my parents that I was going to take a semester off of college and just work. They wisely did not allow me to do this. I’m grateful. I finished college in four years and got on with my life making four times as much as that summer job. Great post. Hugs, C

    • I’m sure not being a ski bum was a better choice for me. It was tough returning to school with a broken hip and pelvis. But I was young and healed in about six months. Your parents were wise!

      • I will admit I missed a lot of classes. My best friend was on my case getting me out of bed and moving. I wouldn’t have made it without her.

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