On a mountain high

January 3, 2002

the truth is i was afraid of falling. that’s why i couldn’t get up on my own, that’s why i wouldn’t let go of his hands, that’s why i wanted to stay seated on the top of the snow-capped hill. i didn’t want to lose control.

and how terrifying: to be skidding down a mountain and not know how to (if you’d) stop.
and how fantastic: to turn the skidding into gliding and feel like you are so close to flying.

i snowboarded for the first time yesterday, and it was the first time in a long time that i was new at something. children barrelled down the hills past me, and i felt so small and weak. i was terrified, but i kept at it. by the end of the day, i felt like i had gotten somewhere, like i had learned something. i felt good.

today, i am all aches and pains. i think of them as war wounds: a bruise on my upper arm, left knee and a spot i can’t quite place on the back of my thigh. i am sore all over the place. i am so sore it hurts to put on my socks and shoes. i wonder if this is how it feels to be 80, with teeth falling out and hearing disappearing.

my body may be drained, but my soul is revived, and i remember what it is like to be alive, to try something new, to take a risk. to be willing to fall, because you know you can always get right back up.


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