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Ski Boots

Ski season is in full bustle and if they only had lifts and slightly more elevation, some of the best conditions today might be New York City’s Central Park or Boston’s Bunker Hill. But with all of the white stuff aflitter, my recent two-day ski pilgrimage to Park City once again reminded me of the dark side of the downhill, the dredged ski boot.

In the ol’ memory bank, I had put the entire “getting ready for skiing” thing out of mind and kept my recollections to “Bogue Miller” Bob bombing down the groomed blue diamond slopes decked out in 1980’s ski fashion with no GoPro on my helmet and slightly too small goggles completing the total dork look. But only after my friend casually told me that he hurt his back putting on his boots did I flashback to the Breeze Ski and Snowboard rental shop where just days ago I too experienced the agony and then the pleasure, the in and then out, of the proverbial ski boot.

For the first skiing day, I wore my best Thorlo socks, hitched them up with no wrinkles, made sure nothing was caught inside and bravely tried to slip my big sized 10 feet into a size 10 boot. The nice young man at the shop reminded me that I should pull the tongue all the way out of its enclosed plastic shell which I eventually did, only to be faced with biometrically impossible task of tightening the buckles. I could see the boots, but I couldn’t touch them, and I do yoga (see “Locked In Concrete”).

So when all else failed and I could not contort myself like a pretzel without pulling something, I started to beg and threaten. I begged the nice young man to help tighten me down. When he got distracted, I threaten my son, promising to keep him out of the will if he didn’t get right over and help his old man out. A few years ago in Steamboat Springs, I swear that I had an Olympic downhill medal winner help boot me up. Yes, Hilary, it does take a village.

During the process, I became a bit jealous of the snowboarders. Their shoes seem comfortable and warm. I also thought about the ski boot’s first cousin, the bowling shoe. Despite the smell and the somewhat repulsive thought of who else has worn these things, at least they have laces and are, at times, even fashionable (speaking of repulsive thoughts, have you thought about how many people stand on the exact same spot going through security, those two feet painted on the floor, many barefoot, hour upon hour, day after day? But I digress).

Anyway, after two full day on the slopes, mostly eating in the overpriced but strategically located Mid-Mountain Lodges where they seem to put the bathrooms in the hardest place to navigate wearing ski boots, I was more than happy to say good-bye to my Salomon’s and seriously consider cross country or just getting massages on my next ski outing.

3 Responses to Ski Boots

  1. jum beaty says:

    Delightful read! Reading you say that Ben or Jack was summoned to help his “old man” makes this thankful old heart sing. What glorious lives we’ve been given. And all joy and peace to you and yours. jim beaty

  2. Audrey Polk says:

    Love this Bob! Brought back so many great memories.

  3. David kahn says:

    The last time I was on skis I was 13 years old and all we had to do was push our shoes into straps. But of course the slope consisted of our driveway in Scarsdale which was an exciting 300 feet!

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