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Playing mind games with a shrink

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

Late in the afternoon, I noticed an instructor was being challenged by one beginning student while the rest of her class was patiently waiting for them to catch up.As a supervisor, I would routinely circulate among the students and assist instructors with difficult students. So I skied up to the instructor with her “challenged” student and asked them how they were doing.The instructor said that they were doing fine, but were running a little behind the rest of the group. To help get the class moving together, I volunteered to work with the woman while the instructor caught up with the rest of her group.Linda was a very timid student and required a lot of tender loving care to make it down to the bottom of the hill. When we reached the bottom, Linda said to me, “Thank you very much for spending time with me.”I said to her, “You’re quite welcome, but we’re not through yet. We still have plenty of time left in your lesson. We have time to go back up for another run.”Linda replied, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly do that.” I assured her that she could. Again, she insisted, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly do that.”I assured her that she could make it down successfully.Visibly shaken but still willing to continue, Linda asked, “Will you stay with me? Do you promise that you won’t leave me alone?” I assured her that I would stay with her every inch of the way.Linda and I boarded the lift and headed for the top. I gently coaxed her down the beginner’s area for another successful run. When we reached the bottom, Linda said to me, “Thank you very much for spending time with me.”I said to her, “You’re quite welcome, but we’re not through yet. We still have plenty of time left in your lesson. We have time to go back up for another run.”Linda replied, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly do that.” I assured her that she could. Once again, she insisted, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly do that.” Again, I assured her that she could make it down successfully.Visibly shaken but still willing to continue, Linda asked, “Will you stay with me? Do you promise that you won’t leave me alone?” I assured her that I would stay with her every step of the way.For a third time, Linda and I boarded the lift and headed for the top. While riding up, I asked her what line of work she was in. She said that she couldn’t tell me. I said, “Oh C’mon. You can tell me.”She said that she couldn’t tell me. Again, I said, “Oh c’mon. You can tell me. I’m your ski instructor.” Reluctantly, she admitted to me that she was a psychologist.Surprised, I said, “Really. Do you have a specialty?” She said, “I can’t tell you.” I said, “Oh c’mon. You can tell me.” She said, “I can’t tell you.”Again, I said, “Oh c’mon. You can tell me. I’m your ski instructor.”After some additional prodding, she said, “My specialty is phobic women.””Well, how about that,” I said. “We’re in the same business!”- Chuck Coiner, Sun Valley, IdahoVail, Colorado


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