Boy and I just came back from our annual Tahoe trip. We extended the trip this year to include 2 days of snowboarding instead of just one. I insisted that this time we take a lesson so I can maintain control and not risk blowing out a knee (2 years of snowboarding and we never took a lesson.) So we did. And it was awesome.
We took a weekday lesson in the afternoon which meant it was one cutie instructor with a british accent (Rhys, like Reece’s Pieces) and just me and boy. Basically a private lesson. He took us to the bunny hill, up the lift, talked us through getting off the lift (still hit the snow the first time off) and walked me through coming down the first hill. And just having someone there, talking you through the obvious, I wanted to throw my arms up and call my mom and scream “look at me, mom! look at me!” We started off with falling leaf, which looks like this:
So you do this while keeping your board pointed side to side while lifting your toes, rocking back on your heels and squatting down shifting weight into right foot then left foot. Easy peasy.
Next, S turns. These are supposed to look like this:
Or something like that. So the point is to keep the same foot going forward all the way down. Whereas in the falling leaf you have right foot going forward, then left foot. On the S turns, you flip around on the turn and have your back facing down the slope. Now think about this position. When coming down on your heels, it’s so easy to fall on your tush and slide down the slope. But if you fall on your tush facing up the mountain, it’s a heck of a long fall! See:
Much scarier, and much more painful. I slammed down and caught myself by my wrists and I just sat there b/c holy ouch. I was shaken up and scared to fall again so it took me a while to try it again, but it got better. It always gets better.
Day 2, we did some bunny slope runs then hit the big trail. 2.5 miles, 8,000 feet up! First accomplishment, not falling off the adult ski lift. Boy and I both hit the snow hard last year and the little siren went off that indicates the lift had to stop until the people on the ground can get there faces out of the snow. So not cool. This year? I had a little british voice in my head repeating “alright, 100% this time! stand up straight, put your weight forward, left butt cheek last to leave the chair…” And magic! off the chair and gliding down. We strapped on our boards and started down the mountain and the experience was 110% more enjoyable than blustery last year when I was tired, sore, had altitude sickness and found myself walking down the mountain grumbling and the parts where I put on my board were so flat I didn’t go anywhere. This time I zigzagged the whole way down. Like this:
Now, the important part here is what you see to the right side. Mmm hmm. Those are 360’s people. I started my zigzag down the slope and lo and behold – I’m doing circles! I was totally showing off. Making sure boy was looking at me each time so I had an eyewitness. There are cameras set up on the slopes and you can go to the site afterward and see if they caught you in action. Each day I sat and went through about 300 pics posted trying to see if they got me. And they didn’t! I’ve been so worried that no one would believe me, that I am now a very awesome snowboarding fiend.
What I like most about snowboarding is that it is quite possibly one of the scariest things I will do. Each night afterward I spent an hour before falling asleep freaking myself out, visualizing all the injuries I could get, everything that could go wrong, working up into a mental block. And each day I went out and got over my fear. I feel like a walking ad for how girl sports raise self esteem. Although I think those ads are meant more for the tweens rather than the 25+ gals 🙂