Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In which I Ski

So yes, I did get to ski, but of course, not without some drama there. (What - you surely didn't think it would be without incident?).

Last year I ended up with a completely black left big toe nail, due to what I thought were rubbish rental skis and boots. As soon as I got on the skis, my foot seemed to slip down the boot and I ended up with all my weight (not a word, before anyone starts) on my left big toe. Despite trying three different types of boot, nothing seemed to help. It was when my friend suggested that the nail might crack off that I finally gave up and retired to the bar  gym. The black nail took a year to grow out, necessitating dark nail varnish throughout the summer, thus drawing attention to the world's boniest and ugliest feet. Not happy.

In November I decided to invest (finally) in my own skis and boots, went to a great ski shop here in Chicago, where they spent at least an hour fitting the boots, and putting gel in them for a custom fit. They were as comfy as slippers, I swear. Unfortunately, as soon as I got to the top of the slopes and attempted to move in a downward-hill fashion, I ended up once again on the left big toe. WTF? Employing the mind-over-matter approach that had successfully preented a bodily "incident" (see previous post), I soldiered on.

After a glorious first day getting my ski mojo back  (ie. going far too fast and muttering "Oh shit, oh shit") the toe nail had cracked a little at the top. I trimmed it down as far as advisable and went out the next day. Unfortunately, the discomfort got worse so I came in after a few hours. (Who am I kidding? I can't ski for more than a few hours anyway these days.) Next day my toe was aching somewhat so I decided to take a day off to shop rest. Besides, the Ball & Chain had somehow pulled his back rather badly and could do very little for himself (another story).

A quick call to the ski shop in Chicago and the nice man said they would "work with me to make things right". (That's American customer service speak for "You're not getting your money back even though we guarantee a perfect fit".) "Fine", I thought, and resisted the temptation to void the guarantee by taking them into one of the local stores for a look-see. And then it hit me - I needed a ski bag and boot bag (had to take everything back), which I didn't have. More shopping, only this time of the boring variety.

Note to self - don't buy any more ski equipment in Chicago no matter how good a sale they're having.

So I had about two day's of skiing at the most. (And this still isn't the half of the "events" of this ski trip).



  1. Blimey - what more can happen? Look forward to the next instalment...!

  2. Ouch! Both my big toenails did that once, and they both fell off. Not nice when they grew back in.

  3. Ow - there is nothing worse than painful ski boots. I wonder what the matter can be?

  4. The toe still hasn't recovered from the last blackening so I was desperate to avoid that again.
    And Ihave a sneaking suspicion that the problem may be due to my wonky pelvis. I discovered last year that because my feet aren't the same, it throws my pelvis out of alignment (by about an inch) which in turn causes back ache. I now wear custom orthotics in my shoes but of course, not in the boots. Still, they should have fitted them to take care of that. Pah!

  5. ouch, i feel your pain, there is nothing worse than ill fitting ski boots!

  6. The only good thing about ski boots is the relief when you take them off at the end of the day.

    Hope they manage to fix your toe issue!

  7. Ewwww, alls I can picture is a big black toe nail! Yeah, thanks for that! =) Seriously though, I do hope you get it sorted. I've done a blog post about my first and last skiing trip to Austria in 1980-something!!

  8. I got the gel custom fit boots a couple of years ago. Both of my big toes were numb for, and I am not kidding here, 6 months after the trip. I got mine at SureFoot and they put the original liners back in and expanded the plastic around the big toe. Each year, first thing I do is go to a boot shop when we get to the mountain and have them stretch the toe and ankle areas. It works. Still much prefer the bar, I mean gym.

  9. as I said.
    skiing is not FUN!
    when I went skiing my rental ski boots were so tight that I almost got a DVT.


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