Sunday 29 January 2017

I got punched in the face*

*by snow. I KNOW.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? 
I have started a new hobby: Cross-country skiing. My friend is a big fan, and she took me out a few days before New Year's eve. It was a gorgeous day, with blue sky, sunshine, and the most perfect powder snow you can imagine. I love nature and moving my body, and I was instantly hooked. 

We went again a week later: Another day, same result: I love this sport! 
Then, last Wednesday, the honeymoon phase came to an abrupt end. 
It was a grey and overcast day. My friend and I were the only ones out on the trail, with one notable exception: There were paw prints on the track. They were from a cat, either a bobcat or a lynx. These beautiful creatures are not normally dangerous to us, because they will avoid humans if they can. But if they feel threatened, they can attack. I have huge respect for all animals when I'm out in the woods, and it felt very special - and a bit unsettling - to ski along where a big cat had walked not long before us. 

The snow was crusty that day. It had melted and frozen, and under a thin layer of fresh snow it was icy. Ice is nobody's friend, is it? Unless it's cooling my drink, I have no use for it. It's dangerous to walk on, drive on, and ski on. Nope, I'm not a fan. 
What I didn't know then, is that it can also pack a mean punch.
But I was about to find out. 

The valley we like to go to is all hills. You go up and down the entire time. Going up is hard work, but easier for a newbie, while downhill is more fun, but that's when I usually fall. 
This particular hill was quite steep. 
As I was picking up speed, I started to panic slightly. I saw a bend coming up, and I had to make a split-second decision: Should I try to make the turn, or give up and simply go straight into the deep snow?

I decided to go straight. 

It was the wrong choice. 

As I plowed into the deep snow at high speed, something stopped my skis abruptly, causing me to dive headfirst into the snow. 

At least I'm in good company. (Image found here.)

It hit me like a brick. 
The layer of ice under the seemingly fluffy white stuff punched me in the face with a force that was as unexpected as it was painful. 
I lay there for a minute, stunned. Then I tried to slowly make my way out of the deep snow, which is no small feat with long, cumbersome skis still attached to your feet and blood dripping everywhere. 
My friend had a first-aid kit with her, and we slapped a huge band-aid across my nose, where the bleeding was the worst. 
(Honestly, that's what made me feel the most stupid - having this humongous band-aid stuck to my nose. It was in my line of vision, and it was both distracting and humiliating.) 

That's a shiner, isn't it. 

But there was one last surprise waiting for me.
Having almost reached the car on shaking legs, I spotted the elusive cat walking across the road! I only saw him for a second or two, but I'm fairly sure it was a lynx. They are shy animals, so it was a special treat to catch a glimpse of him.
That sighting made it (almost) worth getting kicked in the face!

Top picture found here.

P.S. The last person who didn't sign up for my newsletter looked worse than I do. Don't be that person. 😜



  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry, I know that must hurt.

    1. The actual faceplant did, but the rest of it has been surprisingly pain-free! The worst is going out in public, and seeing people do a double-take when they see the bruise. I still don't know if I should explain how it happened or not - I've been doing half and half, but I suspect that strangers don't believe my story anyway. Getting punched by snow sounds ridiculous, but by now I think it's really funny!

  2. I am glad that you didn't take an eye out with that fall! good thing you were not alone. The lynx sighting sounds cool! I love those cats.

  3. Oh my gosh, that snow got you good! I hope you hit it back!


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