I was having lunch with my friend Merav a few days ago, chitchatting about everything and nothing, when she asked me what I was doing for New Years Eve. Since I usually dread New Years Eve due to having to frantically scramble around last-minute for plans, I was thrilled to tell her that this year, I actually had something I was looking forward to doing.
“I’m going to Denver!” I told her. “Me and a bunch of my friends from school have rented a house in the mountains, and we’re going to spend the long weekend there. I can’t wait to go skiing!”
Her mouth literally dropped open. “Skiing?”
“Yes, skiing,” I said.
“You know how to ski?” she asked.
“Of course I know how to ski,” I said, looking at her like she was crazy. “I’m actually quite a good skier – my dad taught me when I was little. Why is that so hard to believe?”
“Don’t get mad at me for saying this,” she said. “But for some reason I can’t picture you on skis. I actually can’t picture you doing anything very athletic at all.”
I made a face at her. “I’ll have you know I am EXCELLENT at many athletic activities,” I said. “Just because I do not brag about them does not mean I do not have possess athletic talents!”
Do not underestimate me, folks. Though I look extremely uncoordinated most of the time (and yes that’s me shrieking and cowering and covering my nose at Dodger games anytime a foul ball is hit within 200 yards of my seats), I do possess certain athletic abilities. And now that I have been challenged about them, I am going to have to share them with you:
Skiing – um, just because I grew up in sunny Los Angeles does not mean I do not know how to ski. There ARE snowy mountains in this state, after all, and many times when I was little, my dad packed me and Bay into the car with all our mini ski-gear and drove us up to Mountain High or Lake Tahoe for the weekend. A few times, we even took family trips to snowy locals – Taos, New Mexico, Park City, Utah, etc – all for the express purpose of skiing! Now, I wouldn’t call myself a pro skier at all (in fact, I will freely admit that the last time I went skiing, I injured myself WALKING UP TO THE CHAIRLIFT), but yes, I do know how to ski, and not only on the bunny slopes!
Canoeing/kayaking – What’s so hard about rowing a fucking boat? I fail to see why people wouldn’t expect me to know how to do this. In high school, my entire 9th grade class took a week-long trip to the Colorado River, where we spent virtually the entire trip canoeing. I vividly recall sharing a canoe with Brynn and singing Britney Spears and N*Sync songs at the top of my lungs as I rowed until she begged me to stop. Additionally, a permanent fixture on any MOTL or Birthright itinerary whilst in Israel includes an afternoon spent kayaking down the Jordan River, and in case this is a newsflash to anyone, I have spent many an hour sitting in six inches of freezing water wearing a shady Israeli life-vest, rowing as fast as I possibly could to escape the throngs of small Hebrew-speaking children and their splashing.
Rock climbing – Okay, I guess I could see how this one is somewhat hard to believe. But I do, in fact, know how to rock climb. Growing up, I spent many a hot summer day at the Oasis Water Park in Palm Springs. In addition to offering wave pools, lazy rivers, and a ton of waterslides, Oasis also had a section of the park with a rock climbing wall, and my partners-in-crime, Benjamin and Jeremy, taught me how to rock climb when I was just a wee lass. I vaguely recall the first time I made it up the entire wall my mother was speechless with disbelief. (I also vaguely recall that once I made it to the top, I was too scared to come down and spent ten minutes clinging to the top rock whimpering until Benjamin had had enough and yanked my rope hard enough to send me flying through the air). I tried rock climbing again when I was in college and was a little nervous, but once again I made it all the way up the wall in no time! I’m like a Jewish spider monkey.
Swimming – People, I am a FISH! Throw me in the water and I will swim swim swim my little heart out. In 7th grade, I was given the special gift of P.E: Aquatics bright and early at 7:30 in the morning, and I was the only person in my class who didn’t invent illnesses and look for every excuse in the book to not get in the pool. I must confess that I am, actually, afraid of the ocean – the only ocean I’ll swim in is right by my house in Newport Beach (or of course, the Dead Sea), but some of my fondest childhood memories take place in a pool. I can dive, I can do handstands, I can do flips AND backflips, I know the backstroke and the breaststroke and the sidestroke… you name it. I am a very good swimmer.
So maybe I can’t throw a perfect spiral, hit a grand-slam, or dunk to save my life. I'm still not TOTALLY lacking in the athletic ability department. I just prefer to keep these facets of me hidden most of the time (god forbid I break a nail). But here they are, revealed!
Don’t ever say I keep things from you :)