Well I hit the cross country ski trails yesterday armed only with an over-inflated ego. "I can read a map" I thought. "I won't get lost" I thought.
Nearing what I perceived as the end of the 3k easy loop I began patting myself on the back. "That 3k was easy. And didn't take me very long at all!" At the last fork in the road I glanced at the map and took off on my final little loop back to the parking lot. 15 minutes later, the end still hadn't come. "Boy," I thought, "That map must not be to scale. I'll just keep going."
A few minutes later I was back at the same fork in the trail, staring at the same map. "Oh! I see! I went the wrong way! Foolish girl! I'm supposed to go this other way!" I chuckled at my foible and headed down the other path, certain of my eventual victory.
Another 20 minutes or so and there I stood - back at the same map.
Now I was certain that I had read the map wrong. Still feeling mostly cheery, I took the first path again, knowing I would be back in the car in no time, laughing at my skiing misadventures.
Nope. Upon reaching that fork AGAIN my now completely deflated ego was quickly replaced with an over-active imagination. "Is this the Twilight Zone? Is there some kind of black hole on this trail that no one told me about? *gasp!* Maybe it's worse than that. What if I fell and hit my head and died and this is hell and I have to go around this loop for all eternityahhhhhhhh!!"
"Get ahold of yourself!" I ordered myself. I couldn't let my new found Sisyphus-complex get the better of me. I took the first loop again, knowing that's where I was supposed to go.
And what did I find when I got to where trail split off? (something that had apparently alluded me on 2 previous trips) The steepest, curviest, icy-ist, scariest hill EVER. It became quickly clear to me what happened. The part of my brain that values my limbs being in tact had hog-tied and gagged the part of my brain that allows me to follow simple directions. And now I know why.
I'll spare you my inglorious decent (on my getting-tougher-by-the-day ass) but I finally made it to the car, one hour later than I was supposed to. Se la vie.
I took today off from skiing. But! Next time I KNOW I'll be able to find my way. And since my ego can't take much more of a beating, I'll only have to worry about breaking every bone in my body! Stay tuned!