With only a peephole of flesh exposed between layers of rosy fleece, a friend labeled me a “pink hippie terrorist.” I cannot deny it; this southern girl does not enjoy being cold. What I do like, however, is mind-freeing adventure.
Freezing rain and biting wind ripped through the gully, but my fuchsia armor was fully resilient. Gripping an inflated doughnut to my chest, I took three deliberate steps backward and set my shoulders. Short jog. Leap. Airborne. Thump. Bounce. Whoosh. The momentum struggled to uncover my ears. Closing my eyes, I released a delighted sigh. During the short descent, I did not think about collateral reading, research papers, or exams. For those brief moments, all that existed was the frigid air, wet tube, and pure snow. Spinning and gliding down the run, I was independent and untethered.
My chariot slowed to a stop, but for a millisecond, I did not move. I did not want the ride to end. Then I bounded upright and grabbed the tube’s tether, seeking the quickest path to the summit. Again. I had to do that again.
Dozens of trips later, my preppy protection was soaked to the skin. As I peeled liquid socks off my frigid feet, I began to remember the upcoming assignments waiting in the car. But during those exhilarating plunges, I had been liberated.