Once you let yourself go, it’s a pretty-quick downhill slide
It’s a slippery slope. Time flies and, before you know it, you’ve hit bottom.
You know what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about tobogganing.
If you can’t remember the last time you abandoned your fate to a magic carpet, it’s time to hit the slopes. There are a number of locally known, established hills to get you back in practice and up to speed.
There’s a good chance you’ve spotted one or two of them around town and maybe even thought about how much fun people appeared to be having. If your everyday travels haven’t taken you in the right direction, ask around, especially among those folks with children.
They’re bound to come up with an idea or two.
Who knows, they may even admit to having tried it themselves.
But one way or the other, having staked out your destination (you can always try the centrally located Shipyards Park), you are half way there.
Next, it’s time to choose your carrier. The old-style wooden toboggans with the curled-up fronts, long padded cushions and hang-on ropes, have pretty much gone the way of the dodo.
If you don’t happen to find one of these dusty dinosaurs, lurking in the back of your shed, consider a number of relatively slow-moving options you may find instead: inner tubes, used slippery-surfaced bags or basically anything dish-shaped – an old lid perhaps.
Prefer something racy, commercial and … fast? Take a spin through the sports departments and check out the bowl-shaped saucer units, long-flat Crazy Carpets and smooth slippery-bottomed Boogie Boards with handles.
Their orange and purple colours are shouting to you. They are yelling, “These babies can really fly!” They aren’t called Crazy Carpets for nothing.
Do try, at all costs, to avoid the GT-styled sleds, the ones that look like tricycles but, instead of tires, there are three skis. It even sounds dangerous. Not knowing what “GT” actually stands for, it’s easy enough to remember it this way: Gone, totally!
There are no more excuses.
It’s time to put on your snow pants and boots, grab your hat and mittens and head for the hills. And it’s still a good idea to remember what Mom told you and leave your long, trailing scarf at home.
Once you’ve arrived, take a minute to survey the situation and plan your attack. You may not necessarily want to start out where the slope is so steep you need a snowmobile – or a helicopter – to tow you to the top.
What are the snow conditions?
Soft and powdery, perfect for cruise-style rides and gentle landings? Or is there an icy film on the surface, suggesting that without proper precautions you may actually attain the speed of light as you bolt uncontrollably down the hill and head for almost certain disaster?
Having reached a decision about your comfort zone, it’s time to make your move. Relax, there are no seatbelts. Laugh, and get covered in snow. Enjoy, and adopt a complete and total disregard for direction.
After a few runs, you’ll be planning a full-moon tobogganing party as you plod back up the hill for your next turn, designing snow-jumps in your mind.