Lessons from a Snowboard

Two years ago i strapped a board on my feet, locked in, stood up... and fell down.  Learning to snowboard is one of the hardest, scariest and most humbling activities to learn.  Who in their right mind would do this?!  Well, I had been wanting to learn for many years.... never tried.  And then, well... to be honest... i did it for a boy.  I wanted to be able to hang out with him in the winter and i took this as an opportunity to learn.

Between the falls, the bruises, the bangs, the slams, the jams, the tears, the burn, the mental and physical exhaustion, the fear, its a miracle i even kept trying.  I was determined to feel at ease on that board... and i liked the boy.

On about my 6th day of riding the bunny slopes and getting killed on anything bigger, it clicked.  It was like the heavens opened up and the angels were singing for me.  The sun shone down and the joy i felt was like no other.  I felt control on the board, i was relaxed, my turns were tight and i texted the boy- "wait for me coming to the top of the mountain!".

By season 2 I was a champ... going on black diamond runs with the big boys, bought myself a bright orange jacket bc I could now be "seen" and not embarrassed, i was officially a snowboarder.

Heres the thing about snowboarding- as soon as you think you got it, you are challenged and humbled once again.  You catch an edge and fall hard and are reminded that you are not invinsible.  I was also introduced the magic and the terror of riding the woods.  Tight turns in between trees that are not very far apart.  If you reach out for a branch out of fear, you jam your fingers... if you cant turn, you slam into a tree.  Why in the world would i do this?! Yes, there was the boy but it went way beyond that.  Being in the woods, away from the people on the slopes, was MAGICAL.

I keep learning the same lesson over and over and over and over.  It is self doubt that will stop me in my tracks.  That will make me fall.  That will interrupt my flow.  Focus is key but even thinking about what I am doing can take me into a head spin.  The feeling is something else.  The feeling is an underlying confidence and knowing that I CAN DO IT... it does not happen from thinking... it is a feeling.  It is a letting go of thoughts (because most thoughts will talk me out of the task at hand).

Now the boy is no longer part of my experience and I am still going to the mountains, strapping my 2 feet into this board, locking in, standing up... and flying.