This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Downward Slope Can Be An Upward Battle

"Uh, No."

That was my answer-- out of fear, out of 'thinking' that it just wouldn't be my thing. Snow, flat surface, skates... OK, I can do that. Snow, being strapped to what appears to be a skateboard while staring down a mountain? Yeah, I don't think so... BUT what if? What if it's really as fun as my brother says it is? I don't even have a huge fear, just a little dinky fear-- enough to make my brain want to say no.

In other words, I didn't really have an excuse so I decided to transcend my natural fears and give snowboarding a shot. It's hard to believe that just over a week ago, I was driving with my brother and a friend to Breckenridge, CO to hit the slopes. It was their 19th time of the season and my 1st time of all time... I guess I could say.

I was feeling just a bit anxious about the whole experience when I was being fitted for my snowboard. "It's harder to back out now," I thought. "After all, I've rented the equipment. "

On the ride up to Breckenridge, I started having second thoughts... "what if I break my leg or I hit my head or God know what else?" Before I knew it, we were on the shuttle, I'd gotten a lift ticket, and we were headed up the neverending gondola to the sky. "There's no going back now...," I thought as I looked at how far we'd ascended into the sky and how much that damn lift ticket cost.

When it was all said and done, I was astounded by how much fun, yes fun, I had on the slopes my first day out. I thought it would be so painful, so frustrating, and so awkward that fun would never be a part of it until I actually knew what I was doing. I didn't break my leg, or an arm, or my head... I wasn't especially sore afterward ( a little bit, yes, but not alot.)

Yes, I lost count of how many times I fell or ate shit in the snow, but each and every time, I got up again. In the beginning, it was mostly due to Barry, my snowboard instructor, making me try again... even though I wanted to quit. I didn't think there was any hope for me (or the nonexistent snowboarder inside of me.) By the end, I kept getting up because I knew I could conquer that damn mountain-- OK, I'll be real: majestic slope-- and I realized that I was exhilarated because I'd tried (and succeeded) in something I was fearful about.

My advice to first-timers: Take a 1/2 day lesson. It's worth it, even though you'll see 6 year olds snowboarding better than you and old people skiing faster than you can walk with your ski boots on. I'm convinced that taking the lessons helped me get the basics down in time to actually enjoy myself.

Thanks, Barry for being my snowboard muse last week and not laughing in my face, even though I'm sure you were tempted quite a few times during that day, especially every time I ate shit coming off the ski lift which was oh, every time! And thanks to my brother, for taking me up to the mountain and making me find my way down and giving me a unique experience to take back home. Snowboarding's something I wouldn't have attempted without a little prodding, but now, well, I just may go again someday!

P.S. There's a Beaujo's pizza in Idaho Springs, CO. So, if you need any other incentive to get down the mountain, deep dish pizza with thick, bready crust is a good one! And after skiing/snowboarding all day, you can afford to down a lot of it!

Copyright 2009 by KLiedle
Photo credit: "Doll Snowboarder" rockymountainroz/flickr
"Breckenridge" kavy2/flickr, "No Snowboarding" maureen/flickr

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