Sledding the Tuthill Hill and Overcoming Fear
I am not afraid of sledding. I am not afraid of going fast in the snow on skis. I am afraid of herniating a disc in my back. That's why I was nervous about sledding at Tuthill Park with my boys.
Being semi-large, I have a lot of inertia when gravity is propelling me. The faster I go the harder I hit things. Having done serious damage to my body in silly ways (gagging on a vitamin herniating a disk, playing dodgeball and destroying my humerus) this smelled like an occasion where that could happen. I'm also a complete scaredy-cat when it comes to thrill rides.
I've hiked up and down the sledding hill at Tuthill dozens of times and ridden my fat tire bike across it. I know the topography of it is such that you could get bounced up in the air a little bit and land with spine-compressing force.
I had heard that you are likely to get snow in your face from digging your heels in fear of an out of control ride. They weren't wrong, so I was glad I brought my ski goggles. I sprayed enough snow in my face to make at least one large smoothie.
Most of my fear was overblown. After a few trips down I was comfortable with the ride. It wasn't easy to be out of control on the packed snow and no ability to turn. But I made it down every time without injuring myself. With the temperature around 35 on Wednesday, the hike back up the hill gave me a better chance of dehydration than an orthopedic injury. By the time we were done, we all had removed our stocking hats.
My boys, of course, loved every second and were none too happy when it was time to leave. My youngest found out I was serious when I said he needed to stay as far to the side as possible. I was going down and had to yell at him to move as I nearly wiped him out.
The snow was packed but pliable the day we were there. It wasn't icy and had melted just enough to be relatively soft several inches down. I guess we were lucky in that respect. It could have been worse after the deep freeze.
I'll do it again. It wasn't that bad. You should go too.