Last month I underwent a personal journey…

The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012.

I have skied most of my life – at some points more than others based on what is going on. is snowboarding hard - ski group It started in 6th grade when my dad took my brother and I to a ski hill not far from where we lived in Washington state.  Looking back I have no idea where that could have been since we lived in the Southeast corner.  I recall that day making my list of The Top 10 Worst Days Ever. Learning to ski sucks. But magically the next time I went, I was a skier. Throughout high school I was the first one to sign up for the annual ski trip.  The bus ride there was a ton of fun – 15 straight hours of playing cards with my friends OVERNIGHT.  We would leave the school in Nebraska on Saturday evening and arrive in Colorado the next day just in time to buy a lift ticket. 25 years later thinking about it just makes me want a nap. And then there was the first winter break I spent as the official girlfriend of Blog-Stedman.  We traveled with his parents to their condo in Colorado and spent the entire time on the slopes. He really does know the way to a girl’s heart. That was repeated for years until life got in the way of skiing fun. 10 years ago we started regular trips back to Colorado.  I skied on years I wasn’t pregnant and on the two I was, I sulked. Each of the boys started hitting the slopes at age 3 and by 4 years old they were coming down the big hill with a little direction from me. skiing with kids On the slopes this year, I realized that I had to ski at full speed to keep up with all three boys.  No more stopping to rest and wait.  No more bunny hill.  We spent a week skiing all together.  Sending someone who knew the trail ahead, one after another, while I brought up the rear. It was fabulous. Which is why I decided that I needed to learn to snowboard. Let’s mess with fabulous!  Why take the easy skiing route now that everyone know how? It has always been a given that Reid(9) will be a snowboarder.  His personality is just that.  We required him to learn to ski first, but always promised that when he got older he could switch. Let’s learn to snowboard! The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 – Day 1 We decided to take a private lesson.  It was Reid, Andrea {my 19 year old niece} and myself. We rented the equipment.  We headed to the smallest hill with our teacher.  We were ready. The first day went great.  Reid seemed to catch on pretty quickly.  Andrea was having fun.  I wasn’t on the ground as much as I expected. is snowboarding hard Our teacher was really good at breaking down the coordination required into small little steps that we could practice over and over on the bunny hill.  The sun was shining and the snow was perfect. snowboarding lessons after The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 was starting out as a great success! The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 – Day 2 My snowboarding partners decided to stay home and bake cookies with Mimi.  No problem!  I was up for the quest for snowboarding knowledge on my own. snowboarding lessons morning I got to the mountain, rented equipment and signed up for group lessons. The second day went great.  There was only one other woman in my group lesson and my teacher was excellent.  He was skilled at watching what we were doing and showing us how to change the weight shift pattern.  We spent most of the day on the bunny hill, but several runs down a larger hill which was a little daunting. snowboards on lift Whenever I would get nervous, he would snowboard opposite me, grab my hands and guide me through the challenging situation. Whew.  The sun was shining and the snow was perfect.  The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 was continuing as a great success! The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 – Day 3 My snowboarding partners decided to stay home and bake cookies with Mimi.  No problem!  I was up for the quest for snowboarding knowledge on my own. I got to the mountain, rented equipment and signed up for group lessons. There was only one other woman in my group less and my teacher was a little less than excellent.  He was more snowboarder than teacher {but very nice}.  We spent the entire day on the bunny hill. Again. I was easily linking my turns on a nearly flat surface. snowboard mountain At the end of the day lesson, he suggested we RIDE THE LIFT to the bottom of the hill. Not me. Nope!  I have spent the last 3 days of my life learning to snowboard.  I BETTER be able to get to the bottom of the hill actually snowboarding. I told them I would meet them at the bottom of the hill. The teacher looked a little concerned, but nodded. I started off.  The top was relatively flat and in one part I even had to take my back binding off and scoot myself along.  Finally I got to a hill-ish area where I could snowboard.  I popped my back foot back into the binding and continued on my way. It was going fine.  I stopped occasionally to let groups of people pass. I was in no hurry. Then came a steeper part.  I took a deep breath and went forward despite an intense desire for my skis.  It was steeper, but still a very easy hill.  A very easy hill that I would have skied without a thought. The first two turns went well. I was feeling good. And then out of nowhere, I caught an edge and was thrown onto my tailbone.  I laid on the hill for a few minutes assessing the damage.  My tailbone hurt badly, but it was my pride that was crying. I was mad. How could 3 days of lessons on a snowboard not even get me to the bottom of a simple hill? I got back up and through tears continued down the hill.  I made it down to the top of the last challenging part. I stood at the top just staring down. My tailbone hurt. My vision obscured. My snowboarding spirit broken. I sat down.  Removed the board from feet.  Walked to the bottom of the hill. My teacher sat at the bottom and asked, “Are you done for the day?” I am done for life. And so The Great Snowboarding Experiment of 2012 ended not with dreams of finding a discounted snowboard next summer, but… snowboard vs skiing …with confidence in the fact that I am truly a skier.

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  1. Hey Holly, nice post about your… adventures! I am a skier too, snowboarding is weird (I like facing forward when traveling at high speeds down hills) and I’ve been skiing since I was 5. One thing I tried recently was a beginner snowboard that’s kind of like the Snurfer (the original snowboard – it was probably a bit before either of our times) – it was much easier to use and didn’t strap me to the board so I could hop off safely. I mean, I still fell quite a bit, but it felt easier to use and I could use it in my own backyard. Even if you don’t pick up snowboarding, have fun on the slopes! I’m heading up to Killington on Monday!

  2. I picked up skiing like it was nothing. Super easy, went down a blue my first week. Now, snowboarding? That’s just a broken bone waiting to happen.

    I noticed you’re near Dallas. Hi from a fellow Dallas blogger, I’m over here in Rockwall.

  3. Enjoyed your journey and amazed you stuck with it for 3 days…. I spent about 2 hours “learning to snowboard” when Camden started on the slopes about 6 years ago…. figured out pretty quick that sitting on the cold snow over and over again was not going to be my thing. 🙂