Bags of Bran

Nostalgia Can Be Painful
December 26, 2009, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Personal Adventures | Tags:

Sledding—haven’t done that in a while. I forgot how sore and tired it makes one to run up a 70 foot hill in full winter kit. After about 10 trips that hill had begun to look like the Matterhorn and my lungs had begun to sound like freight trains and blacksmiths’ bellows. I encouraged myself by thinking that sledding requires different endurance from that which I have accumulated on the bike, and I almost had me fooled.

When descending, I certainly didn’t want to chicken out and disappoint the nephews, who, with my wife, constitute my entire fan club. So up to the top of the hill I went. The hill was fairly steep and littered with the types of topography that make children go “yippeeeee!” and keep First Responders up at night. The hill itself was a rather steep little number, bordered on the left by a small, cattail-infested lake and on the right by woods. The very top was rather narrow, sparsely littered with small trees, and nearly scrubbed clean of snow. The hill itself was an uneven proposition with several small hummocks which are no doubt sponsored by area dentists. I dubbed one particular hummock “The Shortener” because you could watch the kids hurtling along at 45 Newton-Meters per Hologram until they hit this particular feature and compressed their spinal columns by about three inches. It was a depression in the surface of the hill about three feet wide and about one foot deep. Some brilliant and thoughtful resident of Central Wisconsin made a small jump on the upper edge of “The Shortener,” which ensured that your tush would reach the lower edge of “The Shortener” with copious amounts of kinetic energy. I’m sure that the jump-smith had envisioned a Dukes of Hazzard scenario, but had failed to gather sufficient resources for the task at hand. Thus, even if you were to hit the jump, your trajectory would land your tailbone directly upon the flattest part of the far edge. An astute observer would notice that, despite nearly half a yard of snowfall in recent weeks, the far edge of “The Shortener” was scrubbed clean of snow and littered with teeth.

In order to secure my legendary status amongst the nephews I had to pull out all the stops and do foolish things. One foolish thing which I did was point the sled down a slope littered with small trees and thorny plants. After a few false starts in which strategically-placed small trees sent me cartwheeling out of the sled and counting attached limbs, I made it through the small trees section, avoided “The Shortener,” stayed out of the lake, and didn’t maim any family members. And, I’m still walking.

All in all, a glorious success.


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