Have you ever taken a cheese grater to the fleshy part of your upper thigh and ass?
I think I just did. Metaphorically, at least.
The Nitmos clan decided to make Sunday our annual Winter Activity Extravaganza. We aren’t “winter” people by nature. We shy away from the cold like Michael Jackson shies away from normalcy. Have you ever seen those Norman Rockwell paintings of idyllic winter life? The warm fire…cozy blankets…hot chocolate…baking cookies. In our house, similar but different. Instead, we are gathered about a warm, crackling hi-def LCD TV. The hot chocolate is not hot but, in fact, cold and called “beer.” (The filly can’t hold her liquor, by the way) The blankets are really extra layers of old race shirts. And we aren’t baking cookies but watching age inappropriate movies or video games.*
But once every year, we don our heterosexual apparel and take on all that winter has to offer in a four hour flurry of winter fun. One day and one day only.
First up, sledding. Or, as I call it, my annual ass raping by the local hill. An adult is not meant to hurtle down a hill on a thin plastic sled. This particular hill featured a nice bumpy, mogul style terrain to greet your sore bum at the bottom. Just when you thought it was over, here’s a rapid attack of 7-8 bumps - like the rolling conveyor at a UPS store – to grind you to a halt. Package delivered.
After the third or fourth trip down, and much to Mrs. Nitmos delight, I decided to buffer against the pain of the moguls by pushing myself up using the sled walls. The first bump dislodged my hands, sent the sled spinning forward without me, causing me to skid down the rest of them with nothing between me and the death bumps but a thin layer of fabric. I skidded to a halt sideways with my legs still outstretched in a wonderfully comedic fashion. Then did the walk of shame to retrieve my sled which careened on another 15 yards.
Hill 1, Nitmos 0.
I could feel the looks of disgust from the other kids as I reached the top of the hill again. The shame was so great my kids and Mrs. Nitmos had already hurried down to the bottom. I stood alone clutching my traitorous sled, sore-assed and red-faced.
To make matters worse, I could not, for the life of me, get the sled to stay straight. Every trip down, it would start turning 180 degrees so that, by the time I stalled out, my legs were pointing back up the hill to fully display the chuckling s.o.b. children at the top.
Mrs. Nitmos? No problem operating her sled to perfection. The kids? They whooshed right down the hill setting new distance records. Me? Pure, unadulterated humiliation.
I’d bounce down the hill with such stressed discomfort chiseled on my face that Mrs. Nitmos thought I looked like a NASA astronaut re-entering Earth’s atmosphere with a cracked heat shield.
Houston, we had a problem. It’s my ass. And a complete inability to operate a simple sled.
After signing off from that sledding adventure, it was on to ice skating where, I’m happy to report, things went off without a hitch. I circled the rink with constant fear that I’m one step away from tripping to the surface and having the trailing skater slice off a couple digits as they pass. We left with the ten fingers we each came with.
I survived. We survived. Now, back into the house for the next several weeks where the only thing cold is the beer in my hand and the embarrassed glances from my kids.
You’d think that, after running six marathons, I couldn’t be heeled by a plastic sled.
You would be wrong.
* I’m normally not a video game player. However, the last few weeks I have taken great delight in a few shoot ‘em video games. In these games, you restart at a certain stage if your character is killed. Unfortunately for my kids’ tender ears, I got stuck at a stage in which the game animation had one player saying to the other “What took you so long? Johnson here was about to shit himself” before I was allowed control and the game began. This was repeated over and over and over. I just couldn’t get passed it. The kids loved it as you can imagine.
Again, awaiting that call from the principal.
The paths were half cleared. I hit my goal of 10 miles yesterday morning before the Extravaganza began. My pace is still suppressed by about 45 seconds per mile but, at this point, I’m just trying to hit my mileage goals. Speed will come with the thaw in a few weeks.