Snow Tubing Isn't For the Weak of Bladder

The family (the whole, extended family) is on vacation this week. When we booked this back in August, we envisioned a ski resort with an indoor water park as a lot of fun, with lots of options for entertaining a gaggle of kids. What we didn't foresee was that, despite the fact that we were building snowmen before Halloween, it's been an unseasonably warm winter season thus far. (I'm not complaining, mind you. At all.) So we are at a ski resort with limited snow. The white slopes are nothing but a paintbrush of color down an otherwise drab brown mountain side. There is zero snow outside the ski paths, because nature has not chosen to snow here. Needless to say, the skiing isn't prime. Which is alright, because we don't ski. (I know what you're thinking. And the answer is "just because we can," alright?)

We do, however, go tubing, Anyone can snow tube, because you don't need special skills to slide down a hill in an inflated rubber ring. Or at least I thought you didn't. I've never been tubing before, despite living within 6 miles of 2 ski resorts. (Again. I KNOW. There is an answer for that, though. I don't do outdoor sports in winter. I lack snow gear of any kind. I KNOW. We live in the snow belt of the state. Let's just stop questioning me, mkay?)

So we were waiting in line at the top of the hill forever, because it was an incredibly slow day on the mountain. The run we were waiting for was the slowest on the hill, too. Some people stopped halfway down and had to be pushed. While it wouldn't be the most exciting ride in the world, it would be an easy run. And that's what I needed to decide if I was going to love an outdoor winter sport or not.

Becky went just before me, and I watched her putz down the mountain at a snail's pace. As I waited my turn, I thought I'd sit in my tube like the other waiters. I eased myself down into the center of it, and my 5'0" stature allowed for my legs to just barely graze the ground in front of me if I stretched to touch. Which I had to, because OH MY WORD, MY TUBE IS STARTING DOWN THE HILL. If you broke the rules, you were asked to "leave the slope quickly and quietly, with no exceptions." One of the rules was that you didn't start until you were told it was clear. It wasn't clear.

I stretched my legs as far as they could to get purchase on the icy slope in front of me. By some miracle, I managed to get myself stopped before going too far, but by now I'm not in the center of the tube but instead laying flat on my back across it, my legs sprawled on either side of it in front of me, barely holding me from slipping down the hill. If I managed to roll off the tube, it would go on down without me. (Busted. Quickly and quietly, I'd be escorted from the slope.) If I tried pushing myself back up, I'd lose what precious little footing I already had and would inevitably take my one and only snow tube ride before being asked to leave. So there I sat, realizing my only chance at getting out of that pickle was asking for help. Loudly.

HELP. I NEED HELP. (Yes, I did.)

Thankfully the lady behind me came to my rescue, because my son, two lanes over, decided to choose that moment to pretend not to know me. ("Geez, you can't take her anywhere, can you?") "Thank you! I didn't want to be escorted quickly and quietly from the mountain." (I tend to joke when I'm mortified.)

So once I was successfully rescued, I patiently waited - standing by my tube - until I got the all clear. When it was my turn to go, I eased myself down into the tube and thought, "this will be a nice slide to the bottom. This is the slow lane, after all.

And then my tube turned itself around and I was facing backward. Well crap. I'd prefer to see when the bumps are coming before I hit them. I am not a daredevil by any stretch of that word, and was not amused by this turn of events. It was about this time that I realized I was going faster than the people before me had. And I was also gaining speed. Quickly. I clenched the handles on that tube so hard my knuckles were sore, and I was so afraid of flipping over and dragging my face on solid packed ice that I was too tense to even wet myself. As I continued gaining speed, I could only think that this is certainly not the experience I thought it would be. At all.

Sam's brother was explaining that it wasn't a slow lane, but bad inner tubes that was causing the drag. See? He pointed back to the hill and said, "That kid is really zipping, and they're in your lane." After I reached the bottom, shot through the rubber mats they have to stop the tubes, and slid about a dozen feet up onto the grass, they realized it wasn't a kid, it was me.

That's when my bladder decided to just get it all over with for the night. No trickling here and there. If I was going to scare it into retention, it'd get even with me in one fell swoop. It was like a pregnant woman's water breaking. And I learned that a pantiliner can only hold so much before it, too, cries UNCLE.

Turns out, I love tubing. But next time, a full pad (or a Depends) will be joining me on the mountain.


Annette W. said...

Kudos to you for a great story...complete with your embarrassing ending. I have never blogged about my own bladder weakness, but if I had such a fun story, I just might have to share! :)

My name is Sarah said...

LMAO!!! Oh this is Joyce, Sarah is sitting here looking at me like I have lost my marbles I am laughing so hard. I pray she never has to understand. Not sure how we will be getting throught that stage in life with her:)