Common Ski Phobias

(Crested Butte, CO – Special from The Tips Up Times – Feb 12, 2015)

Hey dudes! This month I want to talk about being afraid and not being afraid. Did you know there are over 114 common phobias common to the sport of skiing? While I don’t have time or inclination to include every one of them in this column I feel that it is important that we realize the extent of
the dangers.
I first penned this piece back around Arts Fair Weekend but the editor told me it did not embrace the season. Then I lost it then found it at the bottom of my sleeping bag in December. Then one morning I saw the thing in the dog’s dish, cleaned it up a bit and sent it along in hopes of earning some beer money. Radical.
There are enough ski phobias circulating out there to fill a ski bunny’s luggage. Treatment is out there for the more serious disorders but I couldn’t tell you where. Maybe a counselor, a ski instructor or life coach…or maybe a large stick up the side of one’s head? Actually I’m still trying to get treatment for my last haircut, man.
The first noticeable phobias are most often encountered upon arrival at the slopes where novice skiers often panic.
Highways can be icy which creates what we call Ditchophobia (the fear of sliding off the road). This can be a serious setback but is nothing compared with Skivoditchophobia (the fear of sliding off the road in dirty underwear). Once the barn door is left open a host of other phobias march right in including Cramdenophobia (the fear of bus drivers); Wrappophobia (the fear of too many layers of clothing); Solaphobia (fear of the sun and sunscreen) and Laurenophobia (fear of new ski outfit clashing with rented ski gear).
Spasophobia, which affects one in every three skiers, has to do with inopportune attention paid to lift ticket display, location of money/credit cards, hairspray and grace in exiting the lift. If one is up on the blacks he doesn’t need to be thinking about accessories. He needs to concentrate on skiing. It is a stupid to worry when an empty head is the goal here.
The problems, often created by poor information, high-test, low oxygen hangovers, the wrong drugs, too much cologne, twisted religion, aggressive lift ticket wire apparatus, and inferior lifestyles, can become chronic from one run to the next. On the slopes one must often contend with Surgophobia (fear of ending up in the hospital) and Shadeophobia (fear of temporary color-blindness in the bright sun). This second perceived or actual stress point can cause the already anxious skier to misread his trail map. Black can look like green on a tiny trail map in the glare, which can lead to acute hysteria and an official sled ride down the mountain.
Warsawphobia (fear of puncture wounds from unruly poles) and Heistophobia (the fear of terrorists wearing ski masks) can be detrimental when combined with Castophobia (fear of body casts) and Drawlophobia (fear of speaking if one hails from Dixie). Although fears are often unfounded, they look pretty real to an out-of-control skier speeding toward an unforgiving fence or a suspended snowboarder. (Be sure never to confuse Castophobia with Castrophobia (fear of someone throwing a Cuban cigar from the lift chair and burning a hole in your new polyester ski outfit.)
The novice skier must be prepared to overcome Slamophobia (fear of the ticket office window closing in your face) Clenchophobia (fear of one’s tense toes snapping off in his boots) and Guffawophobia (fear of being laughed at by other skiers. A lesson or two might help.
Phobias easily treated slopeside include Aphobia (fear of flunking out of ski school and getting drafted into the army; Gogglophobia (fear of an uneven raccoon facial tan due to uneven eye protection devices); Donjuanophobia (fear of falling in love with one’s ski instructor); Zappophobia (fear of ingesting yellow snow) and Catatonophobia (fear of a collision with a Snowcat or a powder hound). These common concerns can usually be put to rest with a concise chat with a ski instructor or a shot of morphine.
Awareness of these tribulations is the first step toward conquering cowardice in the snow. Some more remote meltdowns may include Litigataphobia (fear of law suits relating to incompetent maneuvers and running into others), Petaphobia (fear of toddlers leaving you in the “dust”) and Zoologiphobia (fear of being eaten by bears or lions while enjoying the back country). While these conditions are rare, they should be considered in your ski planning.
Be sure to tune in next time when we dismember Western Colorado celebrity phobias such as Ophraphobia, Jokerphobia, Bradyphobia, and Hickenloopaphobia. – Dude Skulldiver Jr.

Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder


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