I am (somewhat) proud to announce that I didn't die today and I didn't even break my neck or a limb. Last time I tried snowboarding, six years ago, I broke my wrist and that, my friends, was the WORST pain that I EVER felt. (Bringing babies in the world didn't count, they took the shortcut). Because of some people's incompetence, they didn't take x-rays until a week later and that's when they noticed that my bones had set at a 15 degree angle which would have left my wrist impaired for the rest of my life. They asked me what I wanted to do though, and without hesitation, I said that I wanted a straight wrist, which meant breaking it AGAIN. So, that's what they did (I will spare you the details) and I ended up stuck on my couch, drugged in la-la land for about 3 weeks, watching the olympic winter games, what an irony. 6 years fast forward, pretty much yesterday, I was still scared shitless. I had not approached a slope, not even with the thought, all this time. When my 12yr old son, who went 4 times snowboarding this year asked me to take him to the Hockley Valley Resort this weekend, it took a lot of mental preparation to accept my fate again. I had no choice, spending quality time with my son was way more rewarding than doing nothing and waiting for the fear to pass.
I didn't need to rent anything, I already had my boots and snowboard, but they were rather dusty from sitting pretty in the basement all this time, so I asked a guy at the rental shop to take a look at my bindings and make sure everything was in order and off we went. First on the "Teddy Bear" hill which I climbed a few times by foot because I was even too scared of the baby lifts and all the crying toddlers hanging around them, literally. Those few runs on the baby hill were a disaster, I could only face downhill backwards if you see what I mean, unable to make a turn to face forward. That's because I obviously have no abs to pull myself up, so I had to flip on the stomach and get up by pushing on my arms. Since I was constantly on my toes, my calves took the first beating. Of course, knees followed closely since they were the natural, most readily available joints to fall on. I was getting quickly frustrated, so I went and booked a 1h semi-private lesson for me and my son. $100, cha-ching! But that was the only thing that was going to save the day, someone to remind me the basics.
We had peanut butter and nutella sandwiches for snack and while waiting for the lesson to start, we decided with my son to take the ski lift up and then the long, gentle slope down. I fell off the ski lift pretty badly, banged my elbow and shoulder again. But guess what, I didn't fall once going down the hill. I kept doing the "leaf" across the slope, but as long as I was standing, I was WINNING! One more descent and it was time for the lesson. He took us to the baby hill again and tought me how to take the kiddie lift, but shortly after that I said enough, I hate this damn slope, I can't get up. So we took the lift up again and after receiving the necessary pointers from the teacher, I had to launch myself into actually making turns. "Keep that goofy foot forward and rotate upper body with the arms out in the direction that you want to turn". Sounds easy enough, right? Well, that's about where the falls started and lasted a long, long time. I counted about 50 for the day. My tailbone and knees are bruised and I feel like I took a beating all over. By the end of the day my quads were spasming, the calves were crying and I was taking it all with the smile. Figured I'd stop while I was still standing and if shaky legs were a sign, I definitely listened.
Here's a picture from our last run, taken by my son.
Am I ready to start again? I need to let my bruises heal, but I think I'm game!! That'll teach me to complain.