Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Luging Saga

I had this brilliant idea a few weeks ago to go luging at the Muskegon Sports Complex. I had been researching the complex for some media coverage I was doing for it, and the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I mean seriously, how many people can say they have been ice luging before? That’s pretty awesome.

The start of the track.
So I wrangled in a few of my friends who all eagerly agreed- and then I waited. Very patiently I might add.

One of my very best friends I brought along with me, Muaz, is an absolutely fantastic writer and he had SO much fun luging, that he just had to chronicle his experience in written form. I don’t think I could have explained this experience we had together any better. So today I bring you the literary genius of Muaz telling all of you about our fantastic luging adventure. I hope you find his humor and his love (real or fake; you decide) for Justin Beiber as amusing as I do! Enjoy!

“My Justin Beiber ring tone had never made me so nervous.  The sound of Bieber’s angelic voice singing “Baby,” meant only one thing – Kelly McGrail was calling me. My best friend Phil and I had promised to go luging with Kelly a couple of weeks earlier.  Neither of us knew what we were getting ourselves into, and now Captain McGrail and her first mate, Missus Partlo were downstairs waiting for us to join them on our luging dalliance. 

Phil and I were dressed in layers, out of fear of injury, not fear of frostbite.  The luge scared me.  I was not made for extreme snow sports.  My fears became visible as I signed the waivers at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex. My knees grew wobbly as the knowledgeable staff took us through our training session.  My hands clammed up as we climbed the stairs to the top of the track.  I decided to let a couple of people cut on front of me, in an act that was born of fear, not of courtesy.  I was the last person in line and people were on their way back up the stairs for their second run as I contemplated my next move.  So I sat on my sled, texted an “I love you” to my mother, called my brother and asked if he could feed my pet goldfish, and inched towards the launch.  I got into position and asked the most personable sixteen-year-old and Muskegon Winter Sports Complex employee, Jake, to give me a push. 

And then it happened.

I was happy; I could not take the smile off my face or the elation out of my spirit.  I made it down the hill in a disappointing 21 seconds, the rest of my quartet were in the low 18s, but I made it down.  I called my brother and told him to leave my goldfish, Justin Beiber, alone and that I would be back to feed him as soon as I was done luging. 

"Epic Phil"- Our new name for a crash.
Fear not- crashes like this do not
happen often. Only Phil could spill
like this.

I grabbed my luge and sprinted back up the stairs.  Luge humor took over as we grew close with our fellow lugers.  We discussed the physics of luging with our expert, Jake.  We discussed the speeds and times achieved down the track and why it was impossible to fly off the track we were on.  The day was full of laughs and luging, and I was full of regret.  I was regretful that I had waited so long to experience this.  The moment I was done luging was full of one thing – the desire to luge again and again and again. 
In my favorite Justin Beiber song, Love Me, he sings, “when I’m with you, everything has disappeared,” and that is how I felt when I was luging, everything disappeared but joy and happiness.  I think happiness is the knowledge that there are things in existence that can make you happy, and the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is one of those things.”

Winners!- Phil was disqualified for his "Epic Phil"- but we
still let him near the podium!
**All photo credits to Hanna Partlo.

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