Thursday, February 14, 2013

Marshmallow Goes to the Summit

I don't love Valentine's Day. I don't like any of those Hallmark holidays -- Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Grandparents' Day, Secretaries' Day -- in part because I am at heart a bit of a curmudgeon, but also because they are contrived to make us buy things we don't need.

I do, however, love Rayne. Every day, not just on Valentine's Day.

I wrote yesterday about my slow-poke skiing -- my Marshmallow style to his Storm Trooper. But today was sunny and beautiful; I really got in my groove.

I was shredding that bunny hill, let me tell you.

I jest. I was going legitimate speeds on legitimate Blue trails all morning. It was fun. Because really, I'm not a Marshmallow. I'm a Blue Shredder who needs time -- tons of time -- being a Marshmallow before I feel comfortable getting up to regular speeds and trails.

After lunch, I was eager to show off my mad skillz to Rayne, who had spent the entire morning skiing the "Northwest Territory." The name alone is intimidating.

We did a couple of blue runs together. After each one, I was like, "I'm fast now, right?"

"Yes, my love, you're very fast," he would respond. "I only wait one-fourth the time for you." That is, before he bombs past me, regardless of how fast I'm carving up the mountain.

On our third or fourth lift up, we could see the summit straight ahead.

"You could definitely do the summit if you wanted to," Rayne said.

"I guess. But I don't want to," I replied. "It wouldn't be fun for me."


Silence. We watched people skiing down the summit trail.

"That's a Blue trail down the middle," Rayne remarked.

"It's Blue?"

"Yeah, the Black trails are on the sides, but the middle under the lift is a Blue."


"You could totally do it."

I considered my options. Finish the day as the Blue Shredder. Or, prove to myself (and the blogo-ma-sphere) the Marshmallow could go to the summit.

"Okay, let's do it," I said.

So we did. We took the chair to the peak (9,000 feet!) and I went pretty slowly. If you had been skiing near me, you would have heard a faint, high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeee as I traversed the trail. My quads were burning. I knew I was making it more difficult by going slowly, but I preferred to be in pain than scared. Some things never change.

At the Summit of Mt. Bachelor, Bend, Oregon.

When we got to the very bottom, 3,000 feet later, I was happy, tired and finished for the day. Rayne accompanied me to the lodge (because it was Valentine's Day) and we each had a spiked hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

I would never have gone to the summit with anyone else. I love that he does crazy things because it makes me think those things are possible. And because I trust him implicitly, I'm not as afraid as I would expect myself to be.

There are so many things I would never have done were it not for my crazy, risk-loving husband. Ski the summit -- or at all, for that matter -- climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, run a 200-mile relay race, leave my job....

He makes me better. That's why I love him.

Love in our pre-Henry years.... 
Happy Valentine's Day.