Adventures in Self-Discovery: Snowboarding

Today I decided I would walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  You will certainly see me advocating all sorts of good positive change, going for it and such on this very blog.  Part of it is certainly because these are all things I am trying to do for myself.  If I speak of how people should put themselves out there and try some wacky things, it’s because I know I need to do the same.

Well, today was a day for me to do less yapping and a little more doing.  So, I took my jazzy new snowboarding outfit and headed on off to Ski Butternut up in Great Barrington, MA to finally give snowboarding a whirl.  It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while and did a ton more talking about wanting to go than just getting up off my butt and just going.

I figured taking a vacation day to extend my weekend to 3 days would be just the thing.

I’m not gonna lie to you… when I actually arrived and saw all those people who just effortlessly glided down the mountain on their skis or snowboards, I got pretty nervous.  I’ve been skiing about 5 or 6 times in my life, but it’s probably been at least… ohh… 12 years since I last went?  And snowboarding is really nothing like skiing.

But I pressed on, signed up for a lesson and off I went for my 1 hour lesson.  How did it go?  Well… much of my day looked pretty much like this:

2010-02-08 - Snowboarding

Yup.  On my butt and looking down the bunny hill, wondering how the hell I was actually going to get back on my feet.

So what did I learn on this brisk and sunny New England day?

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously.  I knew going into all of this that if I was going to get all bent out of shape, it would be a wasted vacation day.  I hate wasting vacation days.
  2. Kids tend to be pretty good at skiing and snowboarding because they are too young to be afraid.  I could hardly count how many kids… and as young as 6 or so… just firing down the slope with complete ease.  It makes me chuckle to think as we age and allegedly get smarter or more “wise”, we also tend to become less playful and much more reserved.  Kids just go for it and worry about the consequences later.  While that approach is not going to be ideal for all circumstances of an adult life, I fully believe we can all benefit from having this more in our lives every day.  Yes, I said every day.
  3. It’s good to stop being “that guy”.  Oh and which guy might that be?  You know the one.  “Dude, I am totally going to go skydiving.  Seriously.  It’s gonna be aaaaawesome.”  Except he has been saying that for 5 years.  When it came to snowboarding, I was totally that guy… and that guy can be so annoying.  It’s fine to want to do something cool or fun or daring, but talking about it any longer than 1 year is just ridiculous.  And yes, I just made up that 1 year mark, but it now feels super-official to me.  I am the rule-maker… FEAR ME.
  4. Snowboarding gear is almost absurdly complicated. I love my snowboarding pants and jacket.  They are 100% powerful sweet, no doubt about it.  But damn, do they have a lot of pockets, zippers, vents, snaps and doo-hickeys.  I must say I do like the pocket with the vent hole so I can safely tuck away my iPod and run the headphones up through my jacket.  I am still convinced I overlooked a few features.  If the jacket had an emergency parachute in the event you fell off a cliff, I would not even be remotely surprised.

So that was my new experience today and it was pretty fun.  A few of the falls were tough and just getting back onto my feet was a challenge, but I kept at it as best I could.  I only decided to call it a day when one of my falls was a little TOO hard and jerked my neck and head pretty hard.  I figured that was my sign to stop.

I’m just happy I got off my butt, tried something new and shed my “that guy” title… at least for snowboarding.  Now if I can only get my running with the bulls in Pamplona plan in motion… and I am not even kidding about that a little bit.

%d bloggers like this: