During the last winter Olympics, I watched snowboard prodigy Shaun White tear up a half pipe with style and ease as he took home the gold for the U.S. I’d have to say, I was inspired. This kid made it look so easy and cool, and I wanted give snowboarding a shot. It would be Something New to try and experience.
Anytime I try Something New, I secretly wish and fervently hope that I have some blistering raw untapped talent at the Something New. I have always wondered if women do this, but I suspect it is something practiced only by males. Regardless, I always imagine that at my first time out trying Something New, I will emerge a natural, a previously undiscovered prodigy who completely conquers the Something New with amazing, effortless perfection.
As I stood at the bottom of Copper Mountain and watched skiers and snowboarders glide (so smoothly!) down the final yards of the slope, I convinced myself this was in fact the case. This was my time to shine. Years of fruitless Something News had all lead up to this moment. While my brother and some of his buddies imparted tips on the basic mechanics of “rippin’ it up,” I listened, nodded, and said “uh huh” and “gotcha” a lot. All the while, inside, I became more and more confident that this would be the Something New by which I would burst forth in wunderkind glory. My unrealized snowboarding talent would be unleashed at last, a real Cinderella story. Shaun White would have nothing on me.
My first challenge, though – before the unveiling of my dormant snowboarding skills – was to actually get to the top of the slope. To get to the top of the slope, you have to ride a “lift.” Getting to the lift involves strapping only one of my two feed onto my board and awkwardly hobbling/skidding/loping along the turnstiles to the lift. (The sensation was not unlike that time long ago when rollerblading was my Something New, and I ended up gripping the rink rails for most of the evening.) Once the turnstiles are successfully navigated, you actually have to coordinate your peg-legged hobbling/skidding/loping in such a manner as to not miss or be struck and killed by the rotating lift. Determined that none of these things should happen, I totally managed to stick the landing, if only by the narrowest of margins. I was off to a good start. Butt firmly in seat, kung-fu death grip firmly on lift rail, I began my ascent.
Continued next post...