Posted: February 21, 2014
A few of my friends and I this week quizzed one another about what Winter Olympic sport we would like to try if we had the athletic ability to compete. Despite my fear of heights, I told my fellow sports fans that I would love to try ski jumping.
I was the president of the Eau Claire Ski Club for four years for two separate terms. Over the eight years that I led the club, I was amazed at how the athletes were fearless in their attempts to conquer SilverMine Hill. I had the best seat in the venue since I was also the public address system announcer. Ski jumpers would fly past my post as they launched off the 90-meter hill and attempted to fly the distance of a football field if they had a successful ride.
As a club member, I had the opportunity to try ski jumping one year after we hosted the annual tournament. We called it the "slush cup". All of the club members who wanted to put on a pair of the long, thin skis went over to Mount Washington and made their way down the small, 10-meter hill. I wasn't very good at ski jumping. In fact, I had a hard time making it down the slide without falling on my rear end. Imagine going down a hill at about 20 miles an hour on a toboggan with holes in it. That's how it felt when I landed.
Bruised and physically spent, I finally made it down the bunny hill without falling down while working my way down the scaffold. I "flew " about six meters. As I landed, I celebrated by raising my arms and pumping my fists. Unfortunately, I then lost my balance and fell over backwards and incurred the same pain that I had when I fell going down the slidebefore I ever had a chance to get airborne.
Even if I'm not athletic enough to perfect a "telemark" landing, I still have dreams of being able to fly through the air on a pair of skis.
POSTAL SERVICE BLUNDER: Now that the price of a postcard stamp has been raised from 33 cents to 34 cents, I thought it would be wise to purchase a roll of the new stamps since I mail out about 50 complimentary issues every three weeks to potential new subscribers.
However, I was notified by the U.S. Postal Service clerks last week that the post office has not even begun to print the new stamps. Hence, I am forced to purchase the old 33-cent stamps and a 1-cent stamp to properly pay for the postage-paid cards that I send out to the complimentary list recipients. I am guessing that by the time the postal service prints the new stamps, the rates will go up another penny. Go figure.