#20 Snowboarding Lessons

My first attempt at snowboarding was more than a year ago on the slopes of the Southern Alps. It was a Christmas present — oh what a great (and painful) one indeed — from my boyfriend who was eager to hit the slopes with me. Except I was literally hitting the slopes.

Some people learn snowboarding, at least the basics, on their own without an instructor. I think it’s perfectly doable except you might end up with poor posture and a couple of well-placed bruises… and then some.

One thing about the snowboard: It’s bloody HEAVY. (Okay, maybe I’m a weakling.) But hey, I’m allowed to say that since I weighed in at only 92 pounds at that time. When I eyeball-ed at the thin slab of metal in the rental store, I never imagined it to be so insanely heavy. And it only got increasingly heavier as I trudged up the slope yet another time to practice sliding down. The black and red Burton snowboard felt like lead chains tied to my ankles (although it was probably made of aluminium and some fancy schmancy stuff like Kevlar).

I lost count on the number of times I fell. (Mind you, I don’t give up easily.) All I remembered was the excruciating pain that exploded through my tailbone and my back as I tumbled down the slope — I probably did a little somersault or two too… I didn’t even register that my woollen hat was thrown six feet away from me.

And to add insult to injury, I lay face first in the snow, watching a young freckled boy, barely a day past 16, whiz past me effortlessly on his snazzy neon yellow board. It delivered a quick whip of cold wind, which stung like a slap across my face as my eyes watered with pain, but mostly anger at myself. Why is this so hard? And why does it hurt so much? How did people do it?

By then, I was freezing, I was tired, and I was aching all over. I couldn’t even turn my head around — whiplash? — after I was awkwardly flung over a particularly tricky mogul on the slope.

I was like, F*** this shit, I’m outta here.

Naturally, the expression on my boyfriend’s face resembled that of a disappointed parent looking disparagingly at his ill-performing child. I don’t blame him — he probably already forgot how it was like to struggle when learning how to snowboard for the first time. I just wanted to get home, have a hot shower and lie down to rest my bruised body (and ego).

I remembered telling myself that I will never do this again. It was too hard and too dangerous, and on top of that it wasn’t even cheap to begin with.

Yet, months have passed and I found myself secretly looking forward to the next time I have the opportunity to travel somewhere with a ski station nearby, so maybe, perhaps, I could fit in a Round Two.

Me vs. the Snowboard. Doesn’t that just sound awfully appealing and decidedly reckless?

Even though my mind’s all “Girl, you’re insane”, but my heart is saying “Yes, you deserve that much”.

Like I said earlier, I don’t give up easily. One important lesson the snowboard gave me, is that I need to give myself a second chance. And a second chance it is.

Oh yeah, and by the way, I’m a goofy. ♥


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