I knew I was in trouble from the second the boots went on. They hold the foot in a really weird way, and you have to walk with a kind of swagger, legs cocked, as you attempt to carry your skis and meet up with your lesson group. It must look a bit like a T-Rex, or one of those insectoid aliens. The pain started in my calves very quickly, and the only way to get any relief was to lean forward or sit down. But I soldiered through and my form wasn't too bad. The only time I fell was when my skis crossed while I was going up the bunny lift holding onto the handle. I can control my speed and stop, which is important. But the muscle fatigue was so bad by the early afternoon that I never really learned to turn, which is also pretty important in skiing. I graduated from kindergarten to grade school pretty fast, and topped out somewhere around 5th or 6th grade. At that point, I didn't care whether I got to ride a real lift anymore, because the pain was so bad. Steve and I decided we'd gotten our money's worth out of our half-day lessons and we'd quit with a bit of dignity. I'm afraid I sobbed on the way back to the gondola, which probably negated any dignity I had left. It just hurt so much. The boot fit fine, it's just the way my muscles had to work. At the base of the gondola I made Steve help me take my boots off and walked sockfooted to the ski rental return. The relief was immediate. Those boots are torture devices. I was so glad to put on human shoes again!
The rest of the family did fine. Steve has the muscle mass for skiing, but still has trouble stopping. Primigenitus, who was in our lesson group, was brave enough to go on the Big Easy run twice, and Secundus was off with Grandma and Grandpa snowboarding all the time. He's had two ski days before. Tertia and Quarta went to kids' ski school and did fine -- we had gone to the trouble of getting Tertia's doctor to fax a release form and talking to the supervisors beforehand and they had no problem including her with the regular classes. She just had a notation on her pass that said "high functioning Down syndrome" and "must stay with sister." She was fine. She doesn't have any pain today, which is a lot more than I can say! Quarta is ready to zoom through level 2 and 3 of ski school next time, but ski school is expensive so there won't be a next time this trip. Somewhere, there are pictures of Secundus, Tertia and Quarta but I don't have the ability to retrieve them to share yet.
We did have some lovely snow Saturday. I have been swimming with the girls in the snow that night and every night since (although after the first night I stuck to the hot tub).
Today we went to Virginia City and Primigenitus bought a Bat'leth. Well, a mini Bat'leth. They sell these repro Klingon swords at a little shop that also has fine Kashmir scarves and paisley shawls. I told Primigenitus he was a geek, but I have to admit, a Klingon sword would have appealed to me at his age too. The small size of this one makes it more appropriate for Klingon Barbie, if such a thing exists, or it could be used for slicing and dicing to make gakh -- a Klingon chef's knife! With those mental images I leave you.