Friday, October 06, 2006

Pining for Snow

Pregnancy is all about abstinence.

Alcohol went out the window straight away. The UK doesn’t officially recommend giving up alcohol entirely while pregnant, but when you’ve had trouble with infertility, it doesn’t take a genius to see that you should probably err on the side of caution. (My mother, in the period of time before we told my in-laws about my pregnancy, surreptitiously downed most of a glass of champagne that I was supposed to be drinking along with her own and got totally whammed on my and her unborn grandchild’s behalf) I don’t smoke, so that wasn’t a chore. Nor do I eat soft cheeses, because, in my opinion, most of them smell and taste like feet. I gave up highlighting my hair, leaving me with strange half-streaks that start from my ears. None of these things have given me much bother one way or another.

But one thing HAS bugged me.

I am a clumsy fool. I run into things constantly. If there’s an uneven surface, I’ll trip on it. I’m the only person I know who’s ever fallen UP the stairs. I once gave myself a split lip by tossing a bottle of juice in the air and catching it with my face. I know I’ve garnered strange looks in the gym changing room from some suspicious bruises on my legs and butt. The other women shake their heads and talk behind their hands. I want to set them straight.

“No, seriously! When I say that I walked into a door or the side of a cabinet, I’m totally not lying! I’m a complete yutz!” I want to yell.

“Of course you did, dear,” they’d say in response and secretly be dialing some domestic abuse help line on their mobile phone on my behalf.

For someone with a coordination record like mine, you’d think that snow sports would be utterly out of the question, but believe it or not, strap a snowboard to my feet and I couldn’t be happier.

I started out with skiing in high school. Growing up near the mountains in Western Maryland, it was only an hour to the nearest ski area, so it was inevitable that I was going to end up on waxed planks at some point. I went twice. The first time, I stabbed myself IN THE EYE with a ski pole, jarring it in it’s socket, although not doing any damage more lasting than a black eye. The second time, I ended up in the emergency room with a dislocated thumb in a bed next to a guy who was so drunk, he tried to pee on the nurse. After that, my skiing partner at the time refused to take me again, which was fine by me.

Fast forward 11 years to when Mr. DD’s band got a gig playing in the winter resort town of Banff, Alberta and a group of 14 of us decided to go for an extended 2 week holiday. Seeing as how there was little to do that wasn’t snow related, (although the hot chocolate at Evelyn’s Coffee House alone was worth the plane fare for. Can you say home-made chocolate whipped cream?) most of us opted to hit the slopes. As I’d not had much luck on skis, I thought perhaps I’d give snowboarding a go.

It was hard. A LOT harder to pick up than skiing. It's a totally different motion more akin to surfing than anything else. Although it was a rather embarrassing 5 days of falling alternately on my ass or my head, by the last day, due to some very good coaching from one of the guys in the group who had got the hang of it, both Mr. DD and I were actually starting to have FUN.

Strangely enough, we happened to live only 40 minutes away from an actual snow dome in Milton Keynes, so over the next year, we tried to visit once a month to improve our skills on the closest thing to snow you can find in this particular part of Europe. (It’s wise, however, not to get it in your mouth because it tastes like the stuff that the highway agency spreads on the roads when it gets cold. Or so I imagine.) With the new learning under our belt, we took a long weekend in March to Chamonix, France and had a blast riding slopes that we wouldn’t have dreamed we’d be able to tackle a year ago.

My brother-in-law, his girlfriend and another fellow who accompanied us to Chamonix are now making plans for this winter’s slope trip and I find myself exceedingly jealous that I can’t participate. It’s literally the only thing that I’ve found that I’ll miss while pregnant and absolutely can’t compromise on. Technically, as the season lasts until early May in some parts of the Alps, we COULD go, but somehow I don’t see living with myself myself after leaving a 2 month old infant at home so I can go on a jolly.

So I will have to stare longingly at my beautiful board for another year. This kid is going to have to like snow.

So what do/will you miss most?


VanillaDreams said...

To think! You were at one time only about one hour from where I live! Did you come to Calgary at all while you were here? (Other than the airport, of course?)

I haven't been skiing in about 3 years now, I think. It's been quite a while -- once I got engaged and was busy planning the wedding and moving and all that, extra-curricular activities that take so much time sort of went out the window. Then, the whole TTC thing started shortly thereafter.... :/

I do kind of miss it sometimes, there really is nothing like the thrill of speeding down snowy slopes! But it's an incredibly expensive sport, too -- and our money seems to be going to other things these days.... But, with Banff, Kananasksis Country, Lake Louise, and the rest of the Rocky Mountains such a short drive from us, we do pop out to visit and enjoy the scenery every now and then...

My Hubby is not much of a skier, either, so I think that's part of it. He told me the story of his FIRST and LAST experience with trying snowboarding for the first time. I'm sure you can imagine how THAT went...yes, another tale of ass and face landings, and he packed it in pretty early that day and swore never to snowboard again! LOL I've always wanted to try it, but wonder if I ever will at this point...besides, my butt is so scarred from Delestrogen and PIO shots, I'm not sure I could take the "learning curve" at this point!!! ;)

The only thing I miss when I am pregnant is a good quality Vanilla Latte. With my first pregnancy, I cut out pretty much all caffeine as soon as I had the first +++ HPT. I had a decaf Latte every now and then, but they just don't taste the same! After that pregnancy ended in miscarriage despite all my careful planning and avoidances, I decided that since I only have ONE cup of coffee per day, if that (some days I have none) that "moderation" is fine, and I won't restrict myself as much the next time. With my very brief pregnancy in August, I limited my caffeine, but still had a Latte if I felt like it.

I rarely drink alcohol, if at all, so the coffee part is the only thing I can really think of.

Think of what fun you'll have taking your kid snowboarding one day! When he/she is 2 they'll be one of those babies flying down the mountain passing all the adults!! ;)

lisalou said...

First of all, what's a snow dome?
I too, will miss snowsports, when I get knocked up. I spent 3 years living in Whistler, a right of passage for BC kids in their 20s, and got addicted to snowboarding.

I love to ski and snowboard and we recently moved back to a little ski town, after a stint of big city living, so we could play in the snow. Last winter I learned to skate ski and it is a fantastic work out and is, I think, safe for should try it!

rockmama-in-waiting said...

lisalou- A snowdome is an indoor slope with real snow. It's obviously chemicaly enhanced to help it to freeze better, but it's great to be able to practice on stuff as close to real snow as you can get in England! (We are remarkably snow-free, but the Alps are only a short train trip away, so we survive. :)