Periodically I like to perform a reality check just to make sure I haven’t….well….gone completely off the deep end. Last weekend I was afforded the opportunity to learn that I am not really all that crazy (OK, I am not the most crazy person out there). There there are things that people do in the name of “fun” that are truly insane.
First a little back story (that will relate to the front story). When we came up to Potsdam for the first time we drove through Lake Placid. (Little did we know that Lake Placid would become one of our favorite places, but I digress.) When you drive into Lake Placid from the east you come into town and are greeted by two massive structures on a hill. The first time we saw them I look at Coreen and said “What are those things?” Then it dawned on us, those are the ski jump towers.
That picture does these things absolutely no justice. When you drive into town you come up right next to them. They are huge. They are steep. They are impressive. And I quickly realized that TV does nothing to show the reality of ski jumping. It is completely INSANE.
To this day, those towers are impressive, and ski jumping is just stupid crazy. They have not lost any of the awe from the first time I saw them.
Last weekend they held a competition on the “little hill” (i.e. the 90m tower). Noah and I wend up to watch, something we have always wanted to do. We were advised to watch the competition up by the end of the ramp (which they have nicely placed an observation deck at). This was the view up…..
This was the view down the hill….
They place pine bows at the end of the ramp so that the jumpers know where the end of the ramp is. (Isn’t that nice of them?)
OK. So why do I (of all people) think this is completely insane? Here are my reasons.
1. I am not sure I could ski down the ramp or the landing hill if they were just regular ski slopes. They are that steep in places.
2. If you are going to jump down the hill, you have to climb up the tower via steps first. (At least in luge you get a ride back up the track!)
3. Once you start on a jump………
…….you are committed……..
In luge, if things go badly, you can always get off your sled. You don’t have to ride it to the end. In ski jumping after start you are going to end up by the stands, one way or another. Yup. I’ll take my steel runners and carbon fiber pod at 55 mph any day….even with the ice covered concrete walls….even though I have a tendency to jump my sled periodically.
BTW. If you ever get to Lake Placid I highly recommend a trip to the jump towers. You can take a chair lift up to the towers and then an elevator up the big tower. From there you get to look at the surrounding area. Then you can look down the ramp. Then you will know what true insanity is. Not the little insanity I participate in.