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A Lesson in Tumbling

This past weekend my family and I headed to Lake Louise to beat the winter doldrums.  We loaded up the skis in the car and were ready to hit the slopes!  The first day was perfect as the sun warmed us and the trails were wide open!  

It was the end of the day without any warning my skis went out from under me and I tumbled like a drunken elephant. My feet hit the air, one pole swinging away with gusto, and the other gone with the wind. I put my hands in the front of me to protect my face from the sudden impact.

I felt a sharp pain as my thumb drilled a hole into the mountain! And  at that moment I asserted several expletives which could be heard within miles.

As my children watched from below I knew I had to show them that no matter how hard you fall you have to get back-up.  It has always been my job to ski behind the troop, to pick up whoever falls, and coax them on their feet again. I could not fail and pulled myself up with my one pole.

The next day  my bruised body was ready to take – on the back of the mountain!  It was on the second run an inexperienced  snowboarder brushed-up from behind me! Down, I went on steep part of the slope with a sudden thud, my ankle throbbed, and my knees where not agreeing to get back – up.

As I sat on the side of the mountain trying to pull myself up for several minutes – people skied by not giving me a second glance. I attempted to focus,  ski tips pointing up towards the mountain, push-up on poles ,and I would fall back down.

I knew crying was not an option and I had to get up!

It was at that moment  an angel appeared, he gave me his arm, and with a deep sense of relief I was able to get back on my feet.

As I got back on my feet I profusely thanked him, ” You truly are an angel.”

His face blushed a little and he made sure I caught up with my family.

I slowly skied down the rest of the mountain – my husband protectively hovered in the back  in the off-chance that I might fall again.

The mountains have away of  teaching us a lesson when we least expect it and sometimes it involves a tumble. The Good Samaritan that skied to my rescue reminds me that sometimes we can rely on the kindness of strangers to help us get on our feet again.

Have you ever relied on the kindness of a stranger?

Categories: Banff Downhill Skiing falling down Lake Louise The Kindness of Strangers

Tagged as:

belleofthecarnival

I am the head clown in my family's circus act! Most days I can be seen with my noise stuck in a good book, spilling coffee down my shirt, and aimlessly wandering about wondering where did I put my glasses.

You can always drop me line at belleofthecarnival@hotmail.com

46 replies

  1. Yes! And you always remember them: the guy who called ski patrol when I tore my ACL (scary ride down in a sled being pulled by, Amber, a 20 year old half my size) or the man who offered me socks as I sat on the curb putting bandaids on my blisters during mile 15 of a marathon . . . or the homeless man who offered me a dime when I was a literally starving student and told him all I had was a bus transfer when he asked me for money . . . . Kindness is always unforgettable.

  2. *hugs* The tumbles can be nasty, I’ve had some spectacular ones on cross country skis. I’m glad you remain intact overall, but for a few bumps and aches.

    Yes, people have extended a great big hand of help to me on more than one occasion, which is why I like to try to do what I can for others.

    1. Thank you! I am glad I’m in tact too! The last fall could have been much worse…It’s rare that I fall but with the sun melting snow it made the hills pretty slick. I kept my eye out for the gentleman in the lodge to buy him a coffee or beer but I never saw him again. I guess I will just pay it forward :)

  3. I did it countless times in Japan. I’d find I’d gotten on the wrong train platform (or train!), only to have someone take time out to guide me back where I was meant to be. One time, a lady even walked me a half-hour out of her way to make sure I got where I was going. I try to be that stranger, but I don’t always do a good job.

    1. I have had a few of those moments too! It is never fun to get lost in a busy city and it’s great a kind stranger was there to help you find your way back. I think the best we can do is help when we can :)

  4. Not often enough. I have a hard time accepting help, even when it is offered with kindness and without any expectations. But I am realizing that kindness is a gift and to refuse it is rude. Glad your angel helped you up.

  5. Hope you have recovered from those bruises. I’m sitting here trying to remember the last kindness by a stranger and I know something happened just recently but for the life of me I cannot put my finger on it. I’ll let you know when I remember the details!

  6. When I was in my late teens and on my way to work one morning in six-inch heels (those days are long gone – both the teens and the heels) I suddenly found myself on my knees on the edge of the road that I was about to cross in the heart of Sydney. I still don’t know what happened. I didn’t turn my ankle. Anyway, crowds of people were hurrying past me, I was very embarrassed and clambering to my feet to examine the mess of blood and torn stockings on my knees, when a young man emerged from the indifferent crowd and asked me if I was all right. I was a bit shaky, but so-o-o embarrassed, that I said that I was (face bright red with confusion). He asked me if I had far to go, but I only had to get across that street to arrive at Wales House where I worked, so he left me, and that was the last that I saw of him. I hope that I thanked him for stopping. No-one else bothered to stop. A young lady crawling around in the gutter at a quarter past eight in the morning must have seemed highly suspicious and possibly dangerous to them. It was long before Sydney was inundated with illegal drugs, so I don’t know what people were thinking about me. Perhaps I had suddenly become invisible to everybody except the young man who stopped. Selective vision? Or don’t-get-involved syndrome?

    1. I think it is a little bit of both – people see what they want to see :) It was very kind of that young man to stop and make sure you are okay. He sounds like a true gentleman! It’s funny how dangerous six inch heels can be ;)

  7. How sweet… A few years ago, I lost my rear axle of my truck.. at first I thought I had a blow out, but I wasn’t so lucky. I was in a bad area (one lane road in the middle of a swamp). I called Marc and he told me I had to drive on my “flat” until I could reach a safe place to stop. Somehow I drove on 3 wheels… When I reached the residential area, there were guys installing a traffic light. They saw me driving and all came running to where I stopped to make sure I was OK (I didn’t realize how bad my car was at that point, or that I actually indented the road as I drove). They were so kind and nice. When Marc appeared to pick me up, he gave them all money for lunch to show our appreciation….

    1. That must have been scary! I couldn’t imagine…It’s nice they took the time to stop and check to make sure you were okay! I think they must of appreciated Marc’s generosity it was very kind of him and a nice way to say thank you :)

  8. OOh, wow! I’m so glad someone helped you. I can’t believe how people just go right on by people who are in need!
    Way to make the most of it and keep right on going! I might have stayed home the second day and nursed some hot toddies! ;)

  9. What a wonderful tale you have to tell.

    I’m sure that I have relied on the kindness of strangers, but am ashamed to say that I cannot think of one instance to share here right now. All of which tells me that I need to work on being more aware of the kindnesses in my life– so I can answer questions such as yours.

  10. I try to be the kind stranger when I can; sometimes its embarrassing, as when you ask someone if they need help and you find out they don’t, really, and would just as soon you not have asked, but most of the time it is very rewarding. The hardest part is trying to skedaddle out of there before they can thank you.

    Nancy
    http://www.workingmomadventures.com

  11. I’m glad your story has a happy ending. As a woman who is under 5 feet tall I often find myself at the mercy of kind strangers when I am shopping in the grocery store. I can’t reach items on the top shelves and wind up trying to scale the shelves like a monkey. Usually, a kind, tall stranger takes pity on me and helps me.

  12. Oh, my. I haven’t thought in ages of the time a belt broke on my car in far, far west Texas, and a kind trucker stopped and replaced the belt for me. (REMINDER: always carry spare belts in your car! It can happen!)

    And of course, after one of our hurricanes, the examples of people giving and receiving help are unnumbered. After tropical storm Allison, when there’d been four feet of water in the house, I remember looking up from tearing out carpet and seeing some teens at the door. They were from a local Baptist congregation, and they were bringing sandwiches, fruit and water to people. I nearly cry now, remembering how kind they were.

    1. I would never think of carrying a spare belt with me :) Thank you for the reminder!

      You must have been devastated as you tore out the carpet – must take a lot of resilience and a test to the spirit to pick-up after a natural disaster :) I think it was a very kind gesture of those teenagers to drop by with water and food. It is those good deeds which help to restore my faith in society.

  13. Oh, yes, strangers have helped me many times. One time I was walking a snowy, dark and lonely road in dress shoes after my car broke down and a young lady picked me up. Later, I truly wondered if she was an angel, as nutty as that sounds.

    You have inspired me. I must start a list of the strangers who have helped me and blog about it some day!

    Glad you are okay and hope the bruises are healing.

    1. I suspect Angels come in all shapes and sizes when we least expect it :) I can’t wait to read that post! Get cracking at it!

      I am feeling much better! It’s nothing a glass of wine and a little Aleve won’t fix ;)

  14. Yes!! I believe strangers who help you are really angels. :) Some are cute ones too! :)
    Thanks for the stranger (angel) who rescued you so you could tell us your story! :)

  15. I felt the pain of your fall. The last time I went downhill skiing was the last time I went downhill skiing. I only cross country ski and snow shoe now. I have a hard time accepting the kindness of strangers. I am glad he was there for you.

  16. I took a really bad spill downhill skiing back in 1998 and knocked myself out. The ski lift operator was nice to come to my aid and make sure I was okay. I was lucky that I took a spill closer to the bottom of the run because I could have been there for a while if I did it in the middle somewhere.

    1. I think there is a code on the mountains that when you are in distress someone will lend a helping hand. It must have been a very bad fall and I am glad you are okay :) I have seen some pretty nasty falls and collisions – it is one of the dangers of skiing that you don’t always think about…

  17. Ah, yes, I remember my first time snowboarding. That was brutal. My friends made me go down a double diamond run on my FIRST day. It was similar to the method of throwing someone in the deep end of the pool to teach them how to swim. The next day, parts on my body that I didn’t even know I had were aching! ;) Good for you… you did it, and you made it!

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