Well the cold weather is officially here. The Trent Canal just below the Peterborough Liftlock is officially open for skating! While we haven’t had a ton of fresh snowfall over the last couple days, I would imagine the icy slope at Armour Hill in Peterborough is also primed for any daredevils brave enough to take it on.
You know, it’s been years since I went tobogganing at Armour Hill, and that’s something I’m hoping to fix at some point this winter. At the same time, I’m a little apprehensive.
I still remember the first time I ever went tobogganing at (probably) our city’s biggest hill. I wasn’t a child, and to be honest I’m not even sure I was still a teenager. There’s a pretty decent chance that I was already 20 years old before I first took a run down the famous Armour Hill (To be fair, I grew up on a farm that itself had some big hills so if I wanted to go tobogganing, I wouldn’t have to go too far. That, and the hill at South Monaghan Public School was legendary in its day – I almost ran into one of the soccer net posts once!). After all the effort to get to the top, I turned around and immediately regretted my choice. It was intimidating. It probably didn’t help, either, that I was wearing boots that had little to no grip and I actually had to pull myself up the hill along the edge of the forest by just grabbing whatever tree I could reach and pulling myself up.
I finally worked up the nerve to go down, and pretty much as expected, I lost my crazy carpet about halfway through and proceeded to roll and slide the rest of the way to the bottom without the benefit of any sort of toboggan.
It wasn’t painful, and it’s what I’d seen the others do before I went down… So all in all, it wasn’t so bad. It was at least enjoyable enough that I worked my way to the top a couple more times to take more runs down – most with the same result.
I’ve since been back to tempt fate a few times, and have luckily escaped without any injury.
I wish I could say the same for the little guy in this surfaced footage from around 1994 (to be fair, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the kids in the video who shared it on YouTube all these years later). It’s a trip down memory lane (at least for me, because I would have been a similar age in 1994), thinking of being at the toboggan hills with a bunch of other kids and their parents – and the one dad with a video camera capturing everything and adding his cheesy commentary as if it were the Winter Olympics.
It’s a perfect example of how a great run can be completely derailed in a split second. Another trip down memory lane for me: that kid’s reaction. It’s funny, because if that were to happen to me now as a full-grown adult, I’d probably be justified in reacting that way because my body would be broken. But everyone knows that kids are made of rubber, and I’m guessing the only thing that kid hurt was his pride.
He does at least pull it together enough to do a post-race interview, and it seems I may have been right – he wants to do it again, so he can’t be hurt THAT bad.
Hopefully this was a little trip down memory lane for you like it was for me. Now get out there and shred some gnar!