Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Distraction, be Damned!

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I love traveling. Give me a point A and I’ll do my best to get to point B. Give me a plane, a train or a donkey, and I’ll get there if I can.

I love hiking up a mountain because I know point B is the lodge at the top and a glass of cold white wine from my backpack thermos. I love the mind-freeing rhythm of the journey, and I love the deserved rest at the destination.

Having just returned from cross-country skiing in Austria, I’d like to share an insight, much like my e-cquaintance Greg Webb does in his blog at www.runningwiththetao.wordpress.com (except that his are much better).

On the first day of the trip, I suited up, got out on the Loipe (the track) and began skiing toward point B, which was about nine kilometers away. I had new skis, which, because I am a man, will take partial blame for what I’m about to tell you. My new skis are narrower than my old skis, so it was a bit difficult at first (and also later) to keep my balance.

I also have new glasses, which I had to get because I’m preparing for the driving test in Germany. I had been wearing my new glasses every day for two weeks the day we started skiing. Naturally, I didn’t wear the glasses while skiing. And just as naturally, not wearing my glasses screwed with my vision—and therefore balance. Blame: the man thing again.

So now that we know who/what to blame . . . I was skiing through the snowy landscape when I saw a fitter skier coming my way. He filled his stretchy ski clothes out much better than I did mine. As he passed me, I turned my head to get a look at the label on his ski pants for future reference. I lost my balance and fell, twisting my left ankle. I wasn’t even on a hill or a particularly difficult part of the track. I simply allowed myself to be distracted.

I got up and skied, hoping no one had seen my clumsy fall. The pain came two hours later. I could barely walk to the lodge where some friends had already ordered me a glass of wine. A man asked me if I needed help, but he wasn’t the man with the perfect, stretchy ski pants, so I said I could manage by myself.

Distraction, be damned.

This year, I’m going to keep my eyes on a few goals better than I have in the past. Maybe I’ll twist my ankle less often. And I'm going to keep my glasses on, so I'll have only myself to blame. We’ll see.

What are your resolutions?

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire)