As a fresh-faced 21-year-old on a ski season in the French Alps, I could literally have it all. Stumbling back from the local bar, once so notably sozzled that I was unable to find my shoebox apartment and had to spend the night on a bemused French couple's floor (it turned out to be on the same corridor as my room), I would nevertheless be fairly confident in my ability to spring back the next day, ready for a full day's skiing. And that confidence was rarely misplaced.
I have no idea how it worked on a physiological level – my best guess is some kind of beautiful magic, also bestowed upon my contemporaries, who shared this special ability to stay out till 4am and then hit the slopes for six straight hours the following day.
In fact, this miracle became so commonplace, so expected, that we all started to forget it was a miracle at all…
Cut to six years later, and I'm sat on a chairlift, bloodshot eyes blinking stupidly in the sunlight like early man emerging from the cave for the first time, head pounding with all the ferocity of what feels like a very small but very strong pixie bashing the inside of my skull with a very small but very real club. It is taking every ounce of my concentration and willpower to simply not be sick over the side of the chair.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe previous night's “hilarious” antics, involving a bottle of tequila, some truly awful karaoke and a quickly-abandoned game of Ring of Fire, no longer seem quite so amusing this morning when looking down the barrel of an entire day of extreme exercise.
It is a rude awakening to the sad but inevitable truth – I can no longer handle the wild après AND the full-on skiing. No sir. Those days are done. And if you recognise any of the following symptoms, it may well be that the time has come for you, too, to trade in your party shoes for some “low-key fun” slippers – at least while on your only snowsports holiday of the year…
1. Sip not shot
Upon hearing the chant “Down it! Down it! Down it!”, your first impulse is to simply put your drink back down on the table.
2. Home sweet home
The very mention of leaving the chalet of an evening – the lovely, warm chalet with the lovely, free chalet wine – brings you out in a cold sweat so extreme, it prompts friends to comment that you're “looking a bit peaky”.
3. Clock watching
When someone proposes one last pint at 11pm, you find yourself nervously looking at your watch and muttering “the thing is, if I'm going to get 10 hours sleep AND be up in time for first lift, I really should have been in bed 28 minutes ago…”
4. Ignorance is bliss
You offer to get the next three rounds in, simply so you can order a coke minus2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app the vodka for yourself without having to endure relentless mockery from the rest of the group. Hey, snow(s) before bros.
5. High-altitude epiphany
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe morning after a night sans alcohol, you feel so incredible that you start gabbling enthusiastically to anyone who'll listen about how your new multi-vitamin must be “really working!” – before realising that you are just experiencing a hangover-less ski day for the first time in 10 years.
6. A lust for lull
Midway through a conversation with the painfully beautiful Swedish ski-bum you've been lusting after, you realise you have completely tuned out and are staring balefully out of the window, thinking longingly of your pyjamas and boxset of The Good Wife back at the chalet.
7. Run for over
Shouts of “Bomb!” cause you to duck and roll under the nearest table, arms protectively shielding your head. Upon realising it's actually in reference to the approaching round of Jägerbombs you feel, if anything, more alarmed.
8. Wardrobe worries
The words, “You're not wearing that, are you?”, come out of your mouth, unbidden, on seeing a friend's choice of mini-skirt/strap-top ensemble; the same thing you would have been happily skipping around the snow in five years ago.
9. Tactical tunes
You find yourself singing a bizarre acoustic version of Rihanna's We Found Love when your friend refuses to leave the club until they play her request, in the vain hope that you will be allowed to return hotel-wards afterwards.
10. A helping hand
When it has been decided that someone must take the so-drunk-it's-gone-beyond-a-joke member of your party home, you volunteer immediately – sure, you'll spend half an hour dragging them through snowdrifts before washing the vomit out of their hair, but after that you're free and clear! You'll be able to get a full night's sleep and be up in time to bag first tracks! Hot damn!