Thursday, March 3, 2011

#5 Learn to Snowboard - February 20 and 26, 2011

So in my previous blog post about why I included learning to snowboard on my bucket list, I wrote a letter to my deceased cousin Nicky. It was only fitting that my first attempt at snowboarding this season was with his girlfriend Sam who is far more advanced than me. I was in Boston for President's Day weekend and reserved a day to go with Sam to Wachusett Mountain. I took a lesson and had a great instructor but at a max of 8 students in the class, I spent more time listening and watching than riding. Thank you, Rick, for the best explanation of figuring out one's stance: if you were Tom Cruise in Risky Business sliding across the floor, which foot would slide ahead first? Left = regular. Right = goofy.

The following week I went to Whitetail in Mercersberg, PA. In a failed attempt at a beginner lesson (turned into a first-timer class with an awful instructor), I dedicated 2 hrs after lunch to just trial and error. Lots and lots of error - just ask my knees and tailbone. My friends thought I was frustrated because I wasn't getting it very quickly or easily but I wasn't bothered by my falls; I expected to have a lot of them. I'd become quiet and distant because all I could think about was Nicky - how I should've tried to learn years ago so I could've gone on more family snowboarding trips with him like he had wanted us to. I don't know if it was sheer determination or stubbornness but I just kept getting back up on the lift after I kept falling down the mountain. I fell everytime I got off the lift...until that fateful moment 30 min before we were scheduled to leave. I was with my friend Lindsey when I slid off the lift and slowed to a stop...STILL ON MY FEET! Then marked the moment of the 3:58 pm, I had gotten off the lift without totally eating it. Lindsey and I cheered over my accomplishment.
Having also been a Rutgers student like his super cool cousin, Nicky could appreciate the small victories too - take 'em wherever you can! He must've been cracking up at how much I rejoiced over something so fact I think I could hear him laughing. I could've gone home happy right at that moment but then continued to have my smoothest run of the day, cruising to a stop at the bottom of the mountain looking like a surfer. It's hard to know if I'm just suffering through this learning phase because I'm stubborn about not being good at it or if I just truly won't like snowboarding. So I've decided to set a minimum limit of snowboarding attempts before I give up: 5. The same number of months that Nicky refuse to give up too. So there ya go, cuz. See ya on the slopes next season....