Saturday, April 16, 2011

Snowboarding

The things you do for love!  I learned to ski a few years ago when my darling husband, SugarBear and I went to Canada.  I seriously thought I had blown out my knee after repeated falls on a run down the mountain.  Years later I have come to enjoy the sport and look forward to hearing the daily snow report.  In fact, skiing is one of the reasons we decided to move to the mountains.  We now have LoveBug on skis too.  He is the top of his class athletically.

I find that learning new things at 30+ years is not the same as it was earlier in life.  I've never had amazing athletic abilities, abounding grace or even really good balance.  However, Sugar Bear wanted to take snowboarding lessons over Spring Break.  My darling husband and I thought that it might be fun to try, so we arranged for private lessons one day.  My darling husband is amazingly athletic with a natural grace about him and good balance to boot.  NOT FAIR!  Our SugarBear seems to inherited all these good traits from his father.  As for me ... I am stubborn.

We had a great instructor and for the first 3 hours we all did well with each lesson.  I even had a few opportunities to show up my darling husband.  I'm a stickler for details and listened carefully to every instruction, striving for excellence.  My darling glossed over the instructions and slid down the hill learning as he went.  SugarBear fell in between; he listened attentively and then let his sense of adventure take over sliding down the hill.

After lunch we were to learn how to turn (traverse) down the hill.  The thing I never knew about snowboarding is that half of the turns are blind.  (It is no wonder I've been run over by so many snowboarders - I have a whole new point of view).  Balancing on my heal side and riding was easy, making the turn went well, but then there was a problem - the blind turn.    Toe side is not my friend.  I fell every time I tried it.  Our instructor was patient.  He held my hands to help me balance.  I can balance toe side, but I cannot see where I am going.  I flip out.  I fall.  Thank goodness for my helmet - for the first 20 falls.  Did I mention I am stubborn?

Our instructor was starting to get worried.  I could see the concern on his face.  I thought he was worried that he was going to fail and not be able to teach me to snowboard.  I lost count of my falls.  I went to the top again and rode my hill side down doing C turns to improve my confidence.  Good now, I tried the traverse again.  No good.  I fell.  I fell hard.  I tested my wrists and wiggled my fingers.  Nothing broken.  I tried again.  Several trips (and falls) later with our instructor by my side he asked how I was feeling and I replied "frustrated".  He suggested I take a break.  I agreed (reluctantly).   The boys were ready to move on to the chair lift and was not.

I took off my helmet and realized my head was spinning, I felt like I might lose my lunch, I had to hold on to the fence to stay upright.  I watched the boys ride their boards for a while.  I walked over to ski school and watched LoveBug outshine the other students (he has an excellent left turn, can ride the magic carpet, put on all of his own equipment - I was beaming with pride in his accomplishments).  My head and stomach did not improve.  It took almost a week for the nausea to go away, but I'm ready to try it again.  Every time I think about getting back on the board I get a little nauseas.  I don't like fears.  I need to conquer this one, but I think I will ski the next time we visit the slopes.

On a brighter note my darling husband thinks that he may enjoy boarding more than skiing and SugarBear had a lot of fun.  It was a good day.  SugarBear has not decided if he prefers skiing or boarding.  I think it will take a few more experiences to make his decision.  In that respect he is more like me.  We are thinking about putting all the boys on boards next year.  We have even heard about a few ski and board clubs that take the kids every Saturday during the season to ski or board with area children that are at the same level.  They stay with the same instructor and same set of kids all season.  It is a program designed to build skills and confidence along with lasting friendships.  All good things that I wish for our children.

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