Saturday, March 29, 2008

Professional Skier

Yesterday I got out skiing as I do most days, but I wanted to ski a little longer than usual. I had been waiting until all my errands were finished and going about an hour each day. Yesterday I made an effort to make sure I'd have enough time to ski for two hours (I started getting tired 90 minutes into it).

As I was enjoying myself in Kincaid Park I was thinking how I've become a professional skier. I'm being paid to sit on call, which means from the time I get the call I have two hours to get to the airport to fill in where they need me. But they haven't needed me all week and I've been skiing every day, so I must be a professional skier!

It has all the perks of being a professional athlete, minus the negative things like: steroids, pressure, groupies, training through the pain, pain in general, etc. And I never say I'm going to work out or train, I'm always "going skiing."

So as the days get warmer, the trails get worse. See if you can pick out the good from the bad trails below:

I really liked the warning sign to the right on this trail. It was supposed to warn of an upcoming downhill, but as you can see now serves a dual purpose.

A lot of what you see is dirt-ice. There is no traction on dirt-ice. Not good.

Here is a movie from a day later when I'm water-skiing:

So as I was skiing along I kept checking my cellphone to make sure I was in coverage. I was always at a couple bars except for a couple of valleys. To account for this I would rest at the top of the hills in order to see if I had missed any calls.

I got a call from my wife telling me that we had found renters for the summer for our house (HUGE relief!), so I was growing confident in my system.

It was all going so well until near the end of my two hours (around 3:20PM) I heard the dreaded beep which means I missed a call. I checked my messages and it turns out the company had called me 20 minutes ago! This is very bad as I'm supposed to return their call within 5 minutes or they treat it as though I didn't show up for work (a no-show I think they call it)! Very bad for a new hire on probation such as myself.

The company was very nice about it, she understood Anchorage has spotty cellphone coverage as long as I could make it to the airport by 5PM. I raced back to my car, threw the skiis into it and was driving out of the park in less than 20 minutes (now physically tired, emotionally panicked and sweating like a one armed ditch digger).

As I was leaving a mama moose decided that would be a good time to escort her calf across the road! I yelled out my window at her and she thought it best not to mess with the crazy car yelling at her.

I not only made it to the airport in time, but I was at the gate by 4:10! And that's WITH a shower!

Then of course, as is usually the case in my industry, I had to wait another 2 1/2 hours before we could take off. The passengers had been boarded and deplaned twice by the time my crew got there. Then the gate agents couldn't come up with the correct number of passengers once we had boarded. Three of them kept coming up with three different numbers. Once the circus was over and we got out of the gate everything else went smoothly.

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