“I have a great idea for a winter vacation!” exclaimed my husband.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Let’s go scuba diving AND skiing!”
“That’s not a vacation,” I groaned. “That’s a horror movie.”
Clearly our definitions of vacation were vastly different. For me a vacation meant lying on a beach with a stack of books by my side and a slushie drink with an umbrella in it in my hand. For him, a vacation meant having at least two opportunities to die a tragic and untimely death. You can see the conflict here.
The main problem was that I grew up in one of those sedentary families where our idea of contact sports was fighting over the TV remote. But when I married into an active family, I was suddenly encouraged to learn how to ski, scuba dive, and rappel into bat-filled slot caverns. And for someone who thought snow is best used in snow cones, my new life definitely threatened to take me out of my comfort zone.
Still, my kids learned to ski and scuba and I didn’t want to be the lone weenie out, so I took ski lessons and got scuba certified, and then increased my life insurance and updated my will.
Although I am technically capable of both skiing and scuba diving, I don’t do either particularly well. The problem is I have this fear of death, so careening wildly down a mountain at high speeds on two wooden sticks and diving 60 plus feet under water with just a tank of air on my back to keep me alive, surrounded by animals and plants that want to sting, bite, or eat me are not activities that seem like good choices for someone who wants to live a long and painless life. But since three out of four of us were gung ho, I grudgingly agreed and we booked a dive trip to Mexico and a ski trip to Vermont.
Which brings us to the vacation
that tried to kill me.
As I descended for my first dive I realized I couldn’t equalize the pressure in my ears and had to end my dive early. I signalled the instructor and swam to the surface… right into a school of jellyfish. (see previous paragraph regarding things that can sting me).
Contrary to popular belief, staying above the jellyfish does not guarantee you will avoid the stingers and within minutes I looked like I got in a fight with an angry cactus. An hour later at the resort clinic, I suddenly realized I had a lot of pain in both ears and discovered that in addition to my stings, I had ruptures in both middle ears. And thus endeth the short-lived dive portion of my vacation.
Deciding that neither of these injuries would interfere with my ability to careen madly down a mountain on two wooden sticks, I stuck with the plan to ski the second part of our vacation.
This seemed like a reasonable idea until someone skied in front of me and cut me off. With nowhere to turn, I collided with the other skier, flew into the air like Peter Pan, and then crash landed on my thumb. One x-ray later, I had my thumb in a splint and my second hospital bill for the vacation.
When I got home I went to see my doctor. She looked at my skin, my ears, and my thumb.
“What do you recommend?” I finally asked her.
She shook her head. “Don’t take any more vacations.”
©2018, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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