Watching the crazy antics of the snowboarders at the winter Olympics reminded me of a story about a crazy snowboarder, so…story time!
One time I was skiing with an uncle in Pennsylvania (we used to ski in Colorado together, but as we were living on the east coast at this time, we met up to ski in Pennsylvania). No offense to Pennsylvania, but the ski slopes are a little less exciting there. By the end of the day, I had skied every black diamond slope, whereas in Colorado, I would never dare to get above blue square.
Anyway, I reached the bottom of a black diamond slope first and waited for my uncle to catch up. I waited…and waited…and waited. I started to get worried that something had gone wrong, but before I had time to ask the lift operator about it, my uncle finally arrived. He looked totally baffled, but unharmed.
The way he related the story, a snowboarder above him on the slope had lost control and slammed into him from behind, but rather than fall together, the snowboarder picked my uncle up in a great big bear hug (no small feat as my uncle is no small man), and fell to his knees, skidding a great distance further down the slope with my uncle safely in his arms.
No sooner had he finished telling this story than the snowboarder came gliding past. What my uncle had failed to mention was that the man was wearing shorts the whole time…and his legs were bloody from the knees down from skidding on the icy slope while holding onto my uncle.
I was impressed by this for several reasons: 1) the man had the presence of mind in the moment (and the strength) to pick up my uncle to ensure that he was not harmed 2) he had the dexterity to maintain this position while skidding down the slope on his knees and 3) he tolerated the pain of the ice tearing up his legs rather than injure someone else. Pretty amazing! Go snowboarders!