The Process of Comfort

We went to Tremblant this past weekend. It’s a big ski hill about three hours away, at least four times bigger than any hill I’ve ever been on before – it was my very first time there.

So although we were only there for about 36 hours, I had a perfectly acceptable number of panic attacks and meltdowns (at least three).

But! I did NOT panic while actually skiing, which is a win. This weekend was a strong reinforcement of what I already know about myself – I get upset when I don’t know the process.

(My business coach is somewhere laughing and nodding until her head falls off, because she gets me.)

I melted down over things like where to park, and where to leave our stuff, and what kind of stuff to bring, and how the line ups worked at the lifts (STILL NO IDEA, we had so many people butt in front of us that I am sure I am still missing out on some critical piece of process information here). The actually skiing was fine. Good, in fact – I stuck to the green runs and they were actually pretty easy, although very long, and the weather was nice and the snow was excellent so it was pretty fun even though I still have no idea how I am supposed to line up for the lifts, and we ended up shoving all our stuff next to the garbage cans because we still don’t understand where we are supposed to store it.

I am extra impressed with myself because – this is a deep secret not even my husband knows – I have an unhealthy obsession with three tragic, mysterious deaths in this world:

  1. The death of the crew of the Challenger, the space shuttle that blew up during take off in 1986. I was watching it live at the time, and it was horrifying, but since then I have read lots more about the explosion and trust me, you should not do this. Here is a hint: the crew was not killed in the explosion, as you probably thought.
  2. The death of the entire group of 10 hikers at the Dyatlov Pass in Russia in 1959. This is an ongoing, unsolved mystery in which the hiking party, having set up a tent in a remote, snowy area of the Ural Mountains, cut their way out of the tent in terror and fled in the middle of the night, wearing very little and with no gear in freezing weather, for no apparent reason. You should probably not read about it if you ever want to sleep again, but on the other hand, if you would like to discuss conspiracy theories/the science of mountain snow with me, I am available.
  3. The death of British actress Natasha Richardson, who died of a brain hemorrhage after a seemingly gentle fall while taking a beginner ski lesson at Tremblant.

For all of these, I have read and re-read a truly detrimental and harmful amount of information, and sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night, my mind goes over this information in a bad kind of way, and so I do not recommend reading about any of them.

But considering my obsession with Natasha, in particular, I am very proud to say that I never once hesitated, not even while on the very run where she fell, and only a few times considered booking the whole family in for a preventative CAT scan once we were finished skiing there.

So I would say our trip to Tremblant was a success, and I might even want to go back someday, especially now that we have faked our way into our own kind of process. Progress!

8 thoughts on “The Process of Comfort

  1. Just yesterday I was reading the deaths in space Wikipedia page and all it’s links.
    Also, I find that any new place I go now I have to google street view my way from my house to the destination, including where the parking lots are, and so on.

  2. Oh my!
    Well, kudos for having the experience of the biggest mountain around here! I can relate to some of your feelings re: how the heck does all this work?? I remember crying the whole way up the chair lift on my first trip to Camp Fortune… such a freaked out beginner it’s a wonder Geoff ever skied with me again.
    I’m glad you didn’t seem to experience how the lift operators can be so rude in two official languages! As for where to put your stuff… hopefully it was all there waiting for you by the garbage cans?

  3. Oh my gosh this cracks me up. I do occasionally think about how awful Natasha Richardson’s death was. Gut wrenching. I too remember watching the Challenger explode. I have not read anything in depth about it, and I am guessing I am better off not knowing. I am unfamiliar with the group of hikers and the whole ordeal makes me shudder. Love that 3 panic attacks but none during skiing was a win.

    I skiied once and vowed to never ski again. The only time- um, I skiied down an Alp in Switzerland. Yeah, what WAS I thinking? Long story but it was Christmas brrak while I was studying overseas. The group we were with decided to ski. I was the only non skiier and was assured I would pick it up. Must’ve had a secret death wish. Hated it. Fell most of the way down. I might have to tell this whole tale in my blog – it is fairly entertaining. Still unsure how I survived the rope ski lift.

  4. bibliomama2

    I’m with you on 2 and 3. I watched a horror movie on the Dyatlov Pass thing that made the whole thing even more freaky. And I bumped my head tubing one day a couple years ago and was convinced I was going to die. The really horrible thing about head injuries too (sorry about this) is that even going to the hospital right away is no guarantee that they’ll catch the bleed and be able to stop it. We should all pretty much be wearing helmets all the time, everywhere.

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