Downhill Barbie – Organizational Lessons When you don’t expect Them

Downhill Barbie – Organizational Lessons when you don’t expect them.

I dusted off the old skis, found something to keep my ears warm, borrowed my kid’s gloves and pulled on my old long johns and a pair of sweatpants.  I grabbed some sunglasses and something that would keep me warm till I got up to the hill. I pulled out that old one-piece ski suit and I was off. It’s late-winter and I am planning to spend this Wednesday up on the mountain, as Wednesday’s are Ladies Day. How could one pass up the deal with the price of a lift ticket including a lesson, lunch and a day in God’s fresh air.

I am thinking, as I drive up to the hill, that I probably should have gone to a few of those Pilates classes to strengthen and stretch those underused muscles, but hey I am a mom.  What better training could there be for a day on the slopes?  Running up and down the stairs 25 times a day should be training enough. I’ve wanted to have this day for a few years now and kept hearing the local radio station talk about the Women of Wonder on the slopes every Wednesday.  A day to feel like you did when you were in your 20’s; able to make a decision without considering your family’s needs first, to be able to eat your lunch while it’s still hot, and even having a glass of wine to top things off.  Wow I am getting excited now…

I get to the hill and find lots of parking available, great – this mid-week skiing really is the way to go. Now let’s get suited up and go get my lift ticket. I take that 20 year-old one-piece suit out of my ski bag, you know, the one that I wore BK (before kids) and pull it on. It feels a bit snug so I decide to take off that extra sweatshirt.  It’s a nice day so I probably won’t need that extra warmth. I say to myself, “hey I have the PBFA” (personal body fat advantage).  Well, I decide to take off those sweat pants too, Lord knows I will really want all the freedom I can get when I tackle those bumps on the black diamond runs.  It’s still a bit snug but I get that zipper up.  Ok, now the boots. I get them on and the true test is to see if I can actually bend over and do them up.  Alright, so I actually get my girlfriend to bend over and do the boots up. I’m going to be standing most of the day anyway.  Off I go.

To say I felt like I was in a straightjacket – correction, I mean straight suit is being modest.  Upper and lower body is so constricted I start feeling light headed, but it must be the altitude. Wow the price of tickets has really gone up! But it does include lunch and the kids really do like macaroni.

Off we go to the chair lift and for the first time in my life I look like a life-size version of Barbie, you know the Barbie that can’t bend her legs. Mind you, I don’t have her waistline, long blonde hair or pointy toes.

My 200 cm skis that used to be cool are now archaic but wouldn’t be so obvious if it were not for their florescent purple and pink color. Ah the 80’s. As I start to sing the lyrics to Tainted Love, I realize it’s my turn for the chairlift. Hey, bonus, I don’t even need the foot rest on this lift as the tightness of the suit keeps my legs pointing straight out. At the top I decide that I best warm up with a blue run. Those black diamond runs will have to wait a bit.  Within 30 seconds I realize I must have taken a wrong turn and I’m now on a black run as the bumps and the vertical drop seem a bit daunting (ok, the colour was green but in the shape of a diamond).  I remembered my first lesson as a child – when in doubt, just sit down and slide down the hill.  And I would have, if I could have actually bent my knees. So I go for option 2 – traverse, tree to tree down the run trying not to look too un-cool as the Wednesday ladies zip past me in their shape skis and shape bodies.

I wish I could describe the joy in getting to the bottom 2 hours later and sliding right into the lodge to warm my frozen body and limbs (circulation must be acting up???). The final insult came when it was time to undo my ski suit.  Imagine me in front of a Mountain Resort Lodge full of beautiful people and pulling the zipper to what must have looked like cutting open a bag of pink insulation. Talk about a ‘fulfilling’ entrance!

So the moral of the story is: If you choose to hit the slopes this spring, try the suit on before you leave just in case it has shrunk.

Have a great time outside this year.

Linda Edgecombe

“Re-Energizing and Re-Engaging You and Your Team”


Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame

8 thoughts on “Downhill Barbie – Organizational Lessons When you don’t expect Them

  1. Once again you have made me chuckle. What a great way to start my morning. Although hitting the slopes is not on this springs agenda I am quite certain that my suit has also shrunk. Blessings to you today.

    1. I think it’s one of the funniest experiences and short articles I have ever written. Thanks. Please forward it to who ever you think needs a chuckle today

  2. I too, thank you for the morning chuckle. I am heading to the slopes in a couple of weeks, after an absence fro a while. I will be trying on my suit.

  3. Thanks, I think its one of my funniest articles I’ve ever written. It actually happened so that makes it funnier.
    Please forward to anyone you know who may need a chuckle today.

  4. I laughed at your experience.

    On my side, I ski two or three times a week. I reserved my flights and lodging and bought ski tickets to go skiing in Banff mid-March (I am from Montreal!).

  5. Thanks for the giggle Linda. Reminds me of my last ski trip two years ago to Louise. Not so much the shrunken suit. I had men’s ski pants on – I know right, that’s another story. Anyways I was actually scared the entire run. Was that hill always so friggen steep. I mean every run. I could only go straight down. One very fast run down with me repeating over and over ‘holy &$!!’ all the way down. One killer wipeout along the way (I haven’t wiped out in years). And I was done. I ended up in the vip tent watching the men’s downhill with drink in hand – a yummy cucumber vodka pressed (tasted like spa water). Now that was something I was more experienced at of late. We are off to Sunshine in two weeks with our sons and grandsons. Im thinking it might be a good idea to get my edges sharpened on my 80’s skis so I have a chance at cutting a few turns and not just straight down again. Cheers to all the great ski trip memories!

Comments are closed.