Saturday, April 9, 2011

I. LOVE. SNOWBOARDING.

   Okay, I realize that a snail could outrun me here, and I was too nervous to try linking some turns on camera for fear of falling, but...
I CAN SNOWBOARD!!! AND IT IS GOOD!!! Is it wrong that after one awesome trip I already miss it so much that I'm fantasizing about it and checking the Breckenridge snow reports to see what I'm missing? I've missed 15" of snow in the last 7 days! Hey, A-Basin is supposed to be open 'til July 4. Who's with me???



   I'm trying to put into words what I love so much about the experience. The main thing might be that it's pretty difficult when you first get started, and can be very frustrating. But that makes it mean that much more when it finally clicks. The last time I felt this exhilarated about learning something new was Scuba diving a year ago. Or swimming a year and a half ago.
   I love the visceral feeling of digging your edges into the heavy, ungroomed powder when your muscle memory clicks into place and you can move without prior calculation. I hadn't boarded on powder before—just ice at Snow Creek. Heavy powder forces you to be aggressive. It's slower than well-traveled, groomed and often icy slopes, but it can be unpredictable: if you hit a pile of snow and become airborne, you have to be prepared for it!
   Once I learned that you really have to throw your weight around to steer and control, and use the toe straps and the high backs for leverage as you link turns, everything clicked into place. Awesome.
   It wasn't easy. And I fell many times (as evidenced by the ever-present dusting of powder on my snowpants). But there's something so satisfying about mastering a skill that is so hard-won that can't compare to any other feeling. You feel free, and powerful. And confident. (At least until you wipe out again!)
   Terry and Maureen skiied with me for part of the time, and Terry noted that even when I fall down, I hop right back up again with a huge smile on my face. For me, that's what it's all about. Recently I heard this quote by John Wooden, and I really believe it: "Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” Take your lumps, fight through them, and enjoy the challenge. It'll make you appreciate the results more.