With my little brother as a member of the USA Luge Team, and most of my family having tried it at least once, we decided it was time for us to try out a Learn to Luge class. As I imagined it, I was going to be really brave about the whole thing. I mean come on, I managed to jump out of an airplane, how much more scary can luge be?
But in reality, I was positively terrified. Ben on the other hand, was so excited. This is a fairly typical pre-adventure situation for us.
The made us wear these utterly fantastic elbow guards that not only looked stupid, but unnerved me a little bit as I worried about what was going to happen on the sled to make my elbows need that much protection.
After a (very) few minutes of instruction, they moved us down to curve 14 to take our first run. At this point I was feeling a little bit better, assuming that you can’t actually get going that fast if you’ve already missed 13 of the curves. In reality, we hit closer to 35 MPY. The reality however, is even at less than half the speed of the Olympic athletes, you still feel like you’re absolutely flying through that track.
With every curve I just kept thinking, “I don’t even know where I am, and I’m supposed to be steering this thing?” Even still, the rush that goes with sledding at the kind of speed is pretty hard to beat.
By the end of four runs, I still coudn’t wipe that terrified look off my face as I climbed out of the track, but it was so worth it.
Ben turned out to be a natural and never bumped a single wall. He loved every second of it and he’s dying to go back for next season. All in all, not bad for a winter sport!