With snowboarding, that is.
At my age (said as if I’m really that old), I find this as a surprise: it’s not easy to learn and end up enjoying a new sport. Not easy. Especially something like snowboarding. It is brutal–oh so brutal–to pick up. There’s a lot of falling on your butt, falling on your knees, falling on your hands, wrists, fingers, when you’re getting off the lift, when you’re going down the run–heck, even when you’re standing still.
I think the first time I even went snowboarding was about 3 years ago. A patient friend of mine took me and, after the day was over, told me I did pretty well for my first time. The second time I went was later that season at Mammoth. On only the first (or was it the second?) run of the day, I caught an edge, fell over so hard my head bounced, and blacked out for a split second. I scared the crap out of my patient friend because I then started asking questions like, “What happened?” Apparently I couldn’t remember what had happened that morning for about an hour.
After that trip, my husband (and myself) insisted that I get a helmet. Snapped that sucker up in a split second.
Naturally, I was hesitant after that to try snowboarding again. You know, typical me: if I have a bad experience, I’m a little shy to try something again. A couple of years later, the hubs and I flew up north to visit his parents and go skiing at Mt. Bachelor. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous. Thankfully it was a snowy day with fluffy powder to soften any potential falls.
That is when the magic started: I could link turns! Do basic carving! It was a miracle. Minus the freezing bitter cold, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Now a year later, we recently had the chance to go again. While at Kirkwood, I made another breakthrough. I finally found myself being able to let go and carve at a not-so-beginner speed anymore without thinking about it. Fun! Truly. And the falls? Oh, nothing like before, and hardly any at that. Besides, with all the powder, falling wasn’t that big of a deal.
After this trip, snowboarding became less of a mental game and more of a joy. I suppose it helps that there was less falling and less of the accompanying soreness.
Just last night, I went snowboarding for the fifth time at Mt. High. It was icy. Cold. Oh, so cold. The runs were so slick. But it didn’t matter to me. If anything, last night was just what I needed–the chance to solidify the carving, turning, and fun that I had experienced a few weeks earlier. Even with the light falls where my knees dug into the ice and received their corresponding bruises, it was worth it.
I think I’m in love.