Back on the piste

So. Turns out the consultant was right in seeing no reason why I shouldn’t ski whilst still nursing a bulging disc. ‘It’s about managing pain,’ he said. And I can now report, after two mornings on the piste, that any pain and stiffness completely disappears when skiing. And I mean completely. And remains absent for the rest of the day. Okay so I’ve not been tempted to flog it to the last lift, as is often the case, sensibly quitting at lunchtime, while my body is still ahead of the game. But even so. Not bad.

The problem is my legs, which have turned to jelly, on account of my having been unable to strengthen the appropriate muscles prior to this week due to said disc. No running. No cycling. In fact not much of anything. Before the injection, I could barely manage a Pilates squat. I came away resigned to the possibility I might not ski but, in the end, the force of the piste is strong.

And, let’s face it, skiing is largely a low impact sport – until you fall on your backside on a patch of boilerplate or catch an edge on a schuss. At speed. Or some idiot bloke skis across the back of your skis as he straightlines out of control down the piste, as one such idiot did across mine yesterday morning, knocking me off balance. By some miracle, I managed to weeble back to upright and carried on down the piste. So yes, danger lurks at every turn, ‘every silver lining has a cloud’, as one of my fellow Inspired to Ski guests noted – about something entirely unrelated – but best not to dwell on these things. A healthy regard, yes. Dwell, no.

So skiing is good for me. It’s official. Moving is good. Moving keeps the pain at bay. Moving will save me! Essentially, I am now a movement junkie.

But today, just to give the jelly legs a rest, I’ve packed the Gremlin off to play out with the others while I indulge in a different sort of movement, with a restorative yoga routine in the dining room – much to the entertainment, I’m sure, of the chalet staff. This has been followed by a wander round the not-quite-frozen lac de Tignes in the sunshine, a spot of kit shopping (be rude not to), and the best chocolat chaud avec Chantilly I’ve had all week (okay my first, but still the best), at l’Hotel Arbina, in the company of a very cheeky sparrow.

It’s true: just being in the mountains feeds the soul. And as long as I have the means to get here, I hope to return. With or without my skis.

In case you missed it

I’ve also spent some time tweeting and blogging, but the trouble with blogging is that you frequently have an idea, only to find – on googling for a bit of back up stuff – that someone else has already done it.

Take ICYMI…YW – as in ‘In Case You Missed It, my book Risking Life and Limb would make a great Christmas present. Buy it here: bit.ly/2hPfjgy. You’re Welcome’ – which I only discovered this week. I know, late to the party. Just as anyone who’s anyone is grabbing their coats, draining their glasses and hailing a cab. But I’m still feeling my way through the joys of squeezing life-asserting messages into 140 characters, including any number of hashtags, links and name drops (sorry, tags).

I’ll blog about all that, I thought. That whole, coming late to the party just as Twitter bites the dust thing. Only to find Elizabeth Minkel, Brooklyn-based columnist for the New Statesman, got there first.

ICYMI, I learn, actually pre-dates Twitter but the aggressively linear nature of the platform – and the way the constant, diarrhetic flow of tweets pushes everything down the line in a matter of moments – has made users not only fearful of missing out (FOMO, natch), but of appearing to be out of touch by sharing ‘old news’ too late. Old news being anything posted later than five minutes ago. As for twenty-four hours? Where have you been?

ICYMI strides over all that. ‘It’s okay to miss something,’ it soothes.’ The world will not end because you have a life beyond the virtual. Please accept this helpful link back to whatever it was you missed, with our blessing. Be at peace.’

As Ms Minkel discussed at length, back in 2014. So (not wanting to plagiarise) – ICYMI, why not take a look at her article here? YW.

Goat simulator

Meanwhile, finding himself temporarily sans piste yesterday evening, the Gremlin stumbled unwittingly into a virtual world of goats. Or, more precisely, goat simulation.

Unable to download video from his camera to the iPad, he consulted the App store. As you do. But when the search ‘AVCHD’ failed to bring any ideas, he cancelled it, resigned to not viewing yesterday’s film of me skiing down a field of sastrugi until we’re home. Which can only be a bonus.

AVCHD disappeared but immediately, a list of ‘suggestions’ dropped down, ‘Goat simulators’ at the top.

Seems there’s any number of apps enabling you to simulate a goat. Frenzied, wild,  crazy or cool. Stupid goat, happy goat, angry goat. Curry goat! Super flappy goat, flying goat, angry flying goat. More goats than you can shake a ski pole at. No goats which magically transfer your video footage to the iPad, however.

Doin’ the ‘Junkie Chicken’

Speaking of junkies, the flipside to all this blogging and tweeting is the number of tweets you scroll through concerning everyone’s favourite President Elect. He of the big hair, mahoosive ego and very small hands. And you know what they say about small hands. It’s so much harder to play the guitar, shuffle cards and keep your wig on in a gale.

Interesting to see Mr Trump’s erstwhile biographer muse that people who expect him to behave with ‘more maturity and gravitas’ once in office are ‘overestimating’ the quite evidently unhinged PEOTUS.

Not sure anyone I know is guilty of that. But I do like Mike d’Antonio’s assertion that Trump is a cross between a junkie and a hungry chicken. And I feel sure there must be an app for that. ICYMI, catch Mr d’Antonio’s bit here. No, you really are welcome.

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