Today was the ski swap. This means, from what I gathered today, that loads of people cram into a location, searching through used and new ski gear; trying to find the exact item they want. I, on the other hand, had no idea what I was doing. So I stood aside until the guy who is thinking about being my coach arrived on the scene and showed me the skis he had put aside for me. The vice president of the ski club was originally going to help out, but she had gone out of town unexpectedly. So, her husband stepped up and found me a pair of boots. The problem was...
my feet were too big.
I've always known I have big feet, but when a men's UK 42 didn't fit, I began to think I didn't need skis; mine were already attached to the ends of my legs.
My big feet turned out to be a blessing in disguise though because those boots were more than slightly used. The leather had tons of creases in it and I was concerned the previous owner had left his stride pattern embedded in the bottom of the boot. That could potentially cause some serious postural issues.
Since everyone was shocked at the size of my feet, we began examining the possibility of me having to buy new boots as opposed to used. (Or, perhaps waxing the bottoms of my feet would serve just as well). The upside to purchasing new boots would have been that I could have worn the boots in to fit me. However, the downside was that new boots were significantly more expensive. As I stood on the church floor in my socks, the idea of new boots started to appeal to me. The new boots would last longer too. That said, dollar signs kept whizzing through my brain-150 for a "decent" pair of boots. I don't think my regular winter boots cost that much.
The decision was made for me though when one of the ski shop venders appeared with a pair of (much more) gently used women's ski boots. More excitingly, my abnormally large feet fit. There was enough wiggle room for a thicker pair of socks and potential feet swelling from physical exertion. Initially, my personal assistants were concerned because the boots are designed for skate skiing which I won't start until next year, but I pointed out that having the extra ankle support that skate ski boots provides as a blind person is not necessarily a bad thing. It was also brought to my attention that the colours of the boots and skis are quite loud-the skis being a bright yellow and the boots screaming even louder in red and yellow-but I figured, despite the obvious clashing, people would know it was me coming. In the future, when I'm purchasing new gear, I can be concerned with matching and perhaps not such a bold statement, but for now, this stuff will serve its purpose. With my reflective pink outer shell jacket that casts pink glare off of ice and snow, my vest that boldly proclaims "blind skier" on it, my nearly florescent yellow skis and my even brighter boots, you won't miss me.
The only thing I'm missing now are my poles.
I wonder what colour they will come in...?