I have just returned from what was supposed to be a glorious week away skiing during the kids’ Winter Half Term. Francophile husband (CSr), decided to try something new this year so we headed to Italy. The plan was to fly to Venice and drive north to the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy in the South Tyrol province. Except I didn’t ski…
I have never been a very keen skier but since living in London, I have had the very fortunate opportunity of visiting and skiing in some of the most beautiful Alpine resorts in the world. I’ve enjoyed going to places like St. Moritz, Verbier, Chamonix, and Courchevel, where wining and dining is as much a part of the experience as hitting the slopes.
CSr is a phenomenal skier and inspires me to want to ski. He is courteous and thoughtful when he skis (even carries my skis at times!), but is not so competitive that he is up at dawn and waking us to attack the mountain.
If CSr disappears on the first morning to explore the slopes, it is usually because he wants to discover an optimum spot to attack a nice lunch after a few gentle runs.
For this reason, I adore our ski holidays. Oh, and another reason may be the fact that since CSr is completely and utterly in charge of the ski holiday, he does everything…even packs…for me, C1, C2 and himself. So, beautiful location, great food, fantastic wine, excited kids…what isn’t to love about a ski holiday!?! Right?!? Hmmm…
We plan to do one run together before dropping the kids off for an introductory ski school lesson. As I find reading a ski map about as much fun as finding C1’s away game pitches, this task is also delegated to CSr without much discussion.
CSr’s Italian ski map reading skills may not be as good as they are in France, because in minutes we wind up on a slope that C1 and C2 (not to mention myself) are not ready for…at all. C1, forever adventurous goes ahead, falls head first down the mountain, loses his skis and CSr goes after C1. I now have to work out how to get C2 down and am about to take my skis off, but C2 seems okay, so we stay close and try to traverse the slope to get to where we should have been in the first place. As we move further, C2 now looks upset, grabs my hand and won’t let go. I now feel C2’s fear so in return, do not let go either.
As a result, we circle around each other and slide down the mountain. C2’s left ski gets caught in my right ski. I am now downslope and cannot turn. C2 is picking up momentum on the descent and that ski is still under mine and…
goes my knee. Since the only ‘POP’ I want to hear is the one a cork makes, and I sure as hell do not see any bottles of fizz around, I sit in the snow and do not move. CSr comes up to get C2 down the slope. I sit in the snow…and wait.
The next 3 hours involve a lovely Sicilian couple calling a medical toboggan like vehicle, or as my dear, erudite, barrister (DEB) friend calls it…the blood mobile , and a taxi to take me to another village where I wait for an Italian/Austrian doctor to examine me, perform an x-ray and tell me that my Crucial Interior Bit is… KAPUT!
CSr is still with the kids so that they could finish their lesson and I am alone. I don’t speak German, Italian, the local dialect Ladin (or even French as we all know!), so I do what I wanted to do 3 hours ago and start to cry.
I am not crying in pain because the adrenaline has numbed me a bit but what is freaking me out is that I have no idea what or WHERE my crucial BITS are and what then is wrong with my leg!? I think my heart must be involved as that is the only really crucial bit I can think of…or maybe it’s my brain but as I’m crying and now panicking, my brain must still be working…RIGHT?!? So what on earth IS my CRUCIAL INTERIOR BIT? And if KAPUT where has it gone?
Another doctor? medic? SOMEBODY…ANYBODY…comes in and shows me on a skeletal model that my Anterior Crusciate Ligament is ‘broken’. So I have worked out that I have torn, ruptured, broken, KAPUTed my ACL. Great. That one doesn’t heal by itself.
After feeling sorry for myself for the next 36 hours, I decide that I have to somehow make the most of it until we get home and I see a specialist. I read, I eat, I drink, I eat some more and drink a lot more. Speck dumpling soup becomes a daily dietary requirement…
and I wait for C1 and C2 to come back from their day skiing and tell me all about their adventures. C1 moans about getting up to ski school but by the end of the week, C1 is doing jumps and following the instructor through the woods and comes first place in the race on the last day of skiing.
C2 gets up every morning, is so enthusiastic about skiing and cannot wait to get up that mountain. C2’s face lights up when talking about skiing and I see the confidence and excitement grow each day of the week. I have stopped playing it over in my mind and I’m not thinking about what else could have or would have happened if I let go of C2. Maybe nothing. Probably nothing. But…well, never mind.
So in the first 10 minutes of the first day during our first trip to Italy, I am injured. I think next year, whether away in France, or in Italy or at home in rainy wet London, I’ll just skip the plan and go straight to lunch.
because there are different ways of being adventurous
2 parts Aperol
1 splash of soda
drink slowly and carefully to avoid anything else going KAPUT