Saturday, September 10, 2011

Learning to fall

If there’s one thing I would say I am surely lacking, it would be athletic ability. My fella is quite in love with snowboarding and I'd always thought it looked like fun. Which is why I decided to spend many weekends over the dreary Seattle winter tumbling down a mountain.  

My first encounter with snowboarding involved a lesson in Breckenridge with an instructor who liked to yell. It ended with me the walking down the mountain-snowboard in hand. While I’m not proud of it, I must admit that if I am not immediately good at something, I lose all desire to participate. This is probably one reason I am so lacking in athleticism. I mean, how many people are actually born great athletes? Most practice for hours on end only to develop average abilities.

Most days on the mountain went like this: falls too numerous to count-some painful and some funny, many humiliating encounters with more experienced snow people, an abundance of tears, some small successes, all while the ever-patient boyfriend stands by coaching and encouraging.

We even went to Jackson Hole on vacation where I discovered that “world class” means “too steep for my ass.”

I was determined not to give up on something because it was difficult to learn (again). In a last ditch effort, I proposed we spend a long holiday weekend (the last weekend of the season) in Whistler.  As we made our way down the first run, I fell three times in 15 minutes.  At this point, I was defeated and announced that snowboarding “just isn’t for me.” I gave it a good run and just plain didn’t like it.  Over it or not, I had to finish the run we started in order to get back down.  And it was the best run yet….

Suddenly it all came together-I was making turns and moving fast and NOT FALLING.  I threw myself back in the snow and laughed hysterically at how much fun it was!  As soon as I let it go, it all fell into place.  

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