Friday, February 25, 2011

Kicking It!

I’m taking a break this week from my usual reviews of junk stores, tea shops, and book peddlers and going on a trip to Idaho. But this isn’t a normal trip; this is kick a** trip. (Trying to keep this blog family-friendly.)

Let me give you a little history.

One of my favorite holidays is KAG weekend. (Known to the rest of the world as President’s Day weekend.) KAG is an acronym for Kick A** Girls. Three of my friends and I earned this appellation in a painful game of paintball many years ago. It was the first time for all of us, and we were unaware of just how fast and hard those paint pellets hit. We turned up in T-shirts, shorts and sandals. The 11 or so guys we were playing with arrived in heavy jeans or army fatigues with gloves, hats and jackets. Did we back down? Cower in fright? No! “Once more into the breach” became our battle cry. By the end of day, it was hard to discern where the paint splotches ended and the bruises began. Our eleven male counterparts dubbed us “Kick A** Girls.”

About a year later, I received an invitation from two of my former women-at-arms to join a third friend up at a cabin in Idaho’s Island Park over President’s Day Weekend. There would be snowmobiling, skiing, junk food, and piles and piles of snow. But I’m not much of a winter sports enthusiast, despite my Utah upbringing. Funds were tight that year, so I initially declined. However, after some cajoling, I agreed to venture north to the frozen wasteland of Idaho.

I’d never been on a snowmobile before. I couldn’t believe the speed! After a few tentative starts, I ventured out on my own. Within an hour I had grown tired of flat open fields. I was ready for something big! Hitting the hills at high speed was a big mistake. I ended up catching so much air that when I crashed back to the seat, I bounced off again and over the front of the snowmobile. I lay there in the snow, thinking, “I can’t believe I’ve lost the use of my limbs in Idaho.” I did finally stagger to my feet and remount my snowmobile which I drove slowly and humbly, back to the cabin.

But I wasn’t finished with rookie mistakes. The next day we took off, caravan-style, for another open field. The snow was incredibly deep and fresh. Yep. You can see it coming. I had gotten so far away from my friends that they were just little black specks zooming around at the other end of the field. That’s when I plowed it under. I just buried that thing in the fresh powder. By the time my friends saw my predicament, I’d been digging around the machine, yanking, huffing, puffing and pulling, all to no avail. All three friends left their snowmobiles parked at the side of the road (they weren’t stupid enough to venture out into that virgin powder) and started trudging through thigh deep snow to get to me. There’s not a one of us over 5 feet 6 inches. First, friend A collapsed, still several yards away. Soon after Friend B tripped and was lost to view. Meanwhile, I’d thrown myself down in the snow in exhaustion. Friend C, looked around in a panic and shouted “I can’t carry you all!” We did succeed in digging out the snowmobile. All four of us were streaming with sweat by the time we got that thing back to the main road. “You know what,” Friend C gasped. “We kick a**!”

That was 11 years ago, and I can’t imagine a winter without our annual KAG trip. We did miss one year, and I’m convinced it cast a dark shadow over the entire year. A lot has happened since our first trip. One friend had it unofficially written into her wedding vows that her husband would accommodate all future KAG weekends. And he has. Two children have been born. Jobs and men have come and gone. But some things have remained the same, like sisterhood and the ability to kick a**.


  1. Friend B cannot imagine a year without the KAG holiday!

  2. Friend C is still out of breath.

  3. I'm glad to know that some things in life are stable. Sisterhood and kicking a**. Gives life hope.

  4. What a great tradition! Maybe I can start something similar for me and some of my less tough girlfriends. We can call ourselves the Pansy-Butt Girls and go on daring try out local tea shops?

  5. Marie, that sounds awesome! You could have T-shirts made, or better yet, tea-cozies!