For those of you who may be unfamiliar with snowboarding, allow me to explain the raw elements of this sport. Even though I am only a one-time snowboarder (snowboardist? snowboardiac?), I feel my experience has lent me enough knowledge to share with you. It is really quite simple. Snowboarding involves, as you may have guessed merely from its name, some snow and a board. Basically, it meant strapping a board that was the approximate height of my wife to both feet and hurling myself down an insanely steep and snowy mountain. By hurling, I mean falling, tumbling, rolling, scooting, careening, and/or any combination thereof.
Let me say, before I elaborate on my snowboarding experience, that I am a man. I do not mean that I am the man. I only mean that my gender is male. Although it may surprise some of you, when males are trying something new, they typically do not want to give the impression that they are new at it. In fact, males often will actually go to great lengths to give the impression that they are thoroughly familiar with things they know absolutely nothing about.
This was the case for me as my brother, an avid ‘boarder who was treating me to this adventure, took me to an equipment rental place where he gets a military discount. Not wanting to be immediately pegged as a newbie, I approached the fifty-five-year-old lady behind the counter of the equipment rental office with just the right combination of confidence and nonchalance. It did not take me long to realize I was in over my head. This revelation came right about the time the fifty-five-year-old lady behind the counter of the equipment rental office told me I was “goofy-footed.”
Me: (adopting a slight Californian surfer-ish accent for unknown reason) “Yeah, my bro is taking me snowboarding, but I don’t have any gear with me. Can you hook me up with a board here?”Gear eventually procured, initial humiliation eventually past, it was off to the slopes of glorious Copper Mountain, a couple hours drive outside of Colorado Springs.
55yol: “Sure. You need boots, bindings, and bibs too?”
Me: (realizing I have no idea what 55yol just said) “Umm… absolutely. I think. Hey, my son has a bib. Would that work?”
55yol: (laughs politely) “Righteous. Hey, which foot do you lead off with?”
Me: (awkward pause) “I really like my right foot.”
55yol: “Cool. So you go goofy then, right?”
Me: (awkward silence)
55yol: (apparently confusing my silence for deafness and speaking slightly louder to compensate) “You’re GOOFY?”
Me: (more awkward silence, followed by a nervous grin and a shrug that clearly says I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here. None.) “Yup. Uh huh. I sure am.”
55yol: “Yeah. You’re goofy-footed. I thought so. Right on.”
Me: (nodding wisely) “Mm hmm.”
Continued next post...