Travel Ramble – Tignes No. 2

Today I skied more than yesterday, swore at an annoyingly small thing and even had a little cry!

I remembered to put factor 50 on my face today. It has been so hot! I’ve felt like a baked potato in my ski wear.

The last run I did today, I did to prove to myself that I could push through the pain and at the beginning of the long blue run, I was thinking I’d made the right decision to push through, but by the tail end – where people had carved many bumps and the shade had made it icy – I regretted the decision to push myself and the added pressure it had put on my knee. Still, I skied more than yesterday and I am skiing – that in itself is a miracle.

I did have a frustrated cry on a chair lift, primarily because I was so frustrated that the activity I love so much can now be so painful and I always feel incredibly guilty that I leave Dad to ski by himself. I still want to be the skier I was a few years ago where I could ski longer and push through my limits. However, there is no use crying over spilt milk, I just have to get on with it. We’ve adopted the sarcastic and humorous attitude for the mountain, we don’t mention the P word ‘pain’ and we don’t mention the F word ‘the swearing F’. Dad and I talk about discomfort and difficulty but avoid words that are likely to push me into a downward spiral of self-pity and angry.

I found I was giving myself the most sarcastic pep talk as I finished the bumpy, icy, shady, over skied blue run today. Things like: ‘you have to get down the mountain to reach the chair lift’, ‘you haven’t got far to go’, ‘see you’re fine really, you’re a good skier’, you were skiing blacks three years ago, what’s stopping you now?’, this is ridiculous, there is no pain, it’s all in your head’, and, ‘your knee does not control you, you do.’

You have to imagine them being said in an overly sarcastic and irritated voice 😉

We were back at La Folie Douce for lunch today. We ate here once last year, on the first miserable day of skiing. It was much nicer this time and I could actually see the views around me. We had to stop at 10:40, 40minutes after we started skiing…but I am still on antibiotics at the moment and I have to take 4 a day, 1 being at 10:30am. My knee was already sore when we stopped here, like a ongoing bee sting pain in the left side of my kneecap. I’m usually fine working through the knee pain, it’s just more obvious that I have the pain as I ski.

I got a free hot chocolate at La Folie Douce – as the bartender had made one too many, which was awesome! Dad and I passed a mass of men from the army, who were doing slalom races from the top of the mountain to the bottom. They were incredibly fast and I was very jealous of their skiing ability.

I remembered to loosen my boots for the walk back to the hotel, I decided to walk the flat way that only has a hill on the last corner and frankly I should have done that yesterday because it was way easier and quicker. I even attempted carrying my skis on my shoulders but that didn’t last long. At least I now know I can carry them for about 5 minutes before my shoulder muscles start to burn.

Most of today was taken up by thinking about my ski boots. I’ve had them for 7 years now and they’re so old that the style of them is no longer made – ski boots now seem more sleek with better clasps – whereas mine are clunky AF. Anyway, I’ve had bad pain in them now for two years and last year I convinced myself it was just an off year or all in my head but because I’ve had the same pain this year also, I started to get suspicious. I should mention, prior to the last two years, I’ve not had any pain in my boots since I got them, I always wear them as tight as possible and I have been able to hurtle down slopes without any issue. Now, I have 3 clasps on either setting 1 or 2 and the top clasp at setting 3 out of 7 (I think.)

I researched it while we were having lunch and I think that my boots are either too small or too big for me now. I get incredible pain in the arches of my feet and in my calves – usually my left calve – and that can be caused by not having the right fit. I’ve noticed that parts of the plastic of my boots that was once stiff have become looser and more movable, which I don’t think is helping. I thought I might take my ski book to the ski shop tomorrow and ask their opinion on it. I might have to get some different ski boots for 2021.

It is my second day of skiing confidently – regardless of pain – and I’ve remained safely on my two skis – no falling for me. I think skiing is a bit like playing a giant game of tetris. I’m constantly looking behind and in front of me, carving out the best path to avoid people as I ski.

Here is a lovely upside down photo of my knee – left knee – and I know I said I didn’t fall over but I found this bruise last night. It was more purple then and I couldn’t work out where I had got it from until I did the same thing I must have done yesterday and realised my stupidity. Some chairlifts have turnstiles that you have to push through with your ski pass. A lot of them are on a downward incline and when there are a lot of skiers trying to get there, it can be difficult to stop. Long ramble short, I skied too fast and rammed my knee into the metal turnstile before it had a chance to move away. Hence the bruise…

Interestingly, you can also see a faint white scar on the picture of my knee…I got that when I was 11. I fell up the stairs at school and cut my knee open. I cried for hours in the nurses office and I remember this bad boy in my year – who I was scared of – cheered me up when it was announced that I needed to go to hospital. By the time I’d got to hospital, I didn’t need the stitches as the wound had closed itself but I still have the scar.

According to the lovely waitress – to whom I asked the question last night – ‘it’s a french thing’. We had this lovely almond pastry pie for pudding last night and in one mouthful I suddenly thought that one of my teeth had fallen out! Luckily I didn’t bite down hard on the item and actually opened my mouth to see what it was. It was a small china cow on a stand. It was the size of my top knuckle to the tip of my little finger. ‘It’s a french thing’ was the explanation to the reason for why it was in the pie…it was peculiar.

I was so far been impressed with the food at Hotel Paquis. The french, it seems, can cope with my food issues. I remember when we skied in Austria that they didn’t know what to feed me and it became a surprise at what I would be served. I am allergic to pineapple. I’m on the cusp of being allergic to meat, but I’m always debating whether it’s a true allergy or just a severe intolerance. I just know that if I eat a small amount of it I am very ill and that if I eat a large amount of it I’ve very ill and sometimes come out in a red rash. Then, I have the following intolerances: rocket, tofu, red/orange/green peppers, ground pepper, chilies, turmeric, cumin (generally any spice), milk in it’s natural form e.g. a glass of milk & egg in its natural form e.g. scrambled, poached, fried etc.

It’s funny because when I list them to people I always get the ‘good lord, where do you eat?’ but in actual fact I can eat most places. I just avoid asian cuisine and burger places – as the veggie burger usually has spice in it. Otherwise, I can pretty much eat anywhere.

I’ve leave todays ramble with the thought I had while coming down the bubble lift. Which was, I wonder how the characters of Harry Potter would fair if they were told to ski down the mountain without magic or tricks of any kind. Who would come out top?

Q – Do any of you ski? & If so, what is your favourite thing about skiing?

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