#12 – Learn to Snowboard

Before we get into the bulk of the post, let’s chat a bit about semantics.  I write advertising and marketing copy for a living and while you may passively wave your hand and say something like, “Psh, it’s just semantics”, you need to understand that for who I am, doing what I do, it’s never “just semantics”.

What you say matters; how you say it, equally so.

This is my roundabout way of putting in a disclaimer for #12 – Learn to Snowboard

Oh, I went snowboarding all right.  Hell, I even took a lesson because that seemed like the responsible thing to do.  Otherwise I would have just been flinging myself blindly down a snow-covered path of woe and despair.  At least with a lesson, I could know exactly what I was doing wrong while flinging myself down a snow-covered path of woe and despair.  Makes all the difference in the world, I assure you.

So, did I learn to snowboard?  No.  Did I snowboard?  Sure, we can call it that.  And since this is my list, that’ll be enough for me to cross it off.

I’ve been skiing for damn near 20 years.  Where I grew up in NY had a small bump of a mountain within a 15-minute drive, which made things pretty easy.  During middle and high school, it was simply where you went on Friday and Saturday nights.  I’m generally comfortable sliding down a snow-covered mountain, thus, I figured that I had something going for me.


Chelsea and I set off for the local mountain, Ski Roundtop, last night with what could only be described as some kind of bright-eyed enthusiasm and, dare I say it, zeal.

Awash in uncertainty

Zeal looks a lot like dread, don't be confused.

What followed was a 3.5 hour lesson in the sheer physicality of physics.  Gravity, momentum, application of force… all the good stuff.

First, our instructor Dan (who there are no pictures of because I was busy trying not to fall over and failing at that particular task), had everyone strap one foot into the board and ride around in little circles.  Cool.  I’ve got this shit nailed.  No problems.

Next, we’re taking a lift up the mountain.

A note on chair-lifts: If you’ve never been up on one before, they can seem a bit daunting.  It’s pretty much you and two other people hanging off the ground at a height that can be described as “it’ll kill you”, on a park-bench with a bar.  Not a big deal for me, I’ve done this before.  Here’s what I haven’t done before:  Tried to get the hell off one of them while strapped into a snowboard for the first time while next to two other people… who have never been on a lift and also have snowboards strapped to them for the first time.

It was like dysfunctional dominoes.

Debate continues today over what exactly happened, but what I can parse together is that someone flailed into Chelsea, who proceeded to flail into me…who proceeded to flail myself into a heap.  Though, they didn’t have to stop the lift for us.  That will only mean something if you ski or snowboard.  There is pride to be had in not being the one to cause the lift to stop.  On the next trip up, they had to slow it down for Chelsea, who bought it in a rather spectacular fashion.  Still, no stoppage then either, so we’re all good.

Obligatory foot shot.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

I could go on in great detail about what the lesson actually entailed, but that could be rather boring for you.  I’ll sum it up: Slide, slide, fall.  Slide, slide, almost turn, fall.  Fall, slide, slide (that one sucked).  This repeats itself for awhile.

"No, you can't take the lift back down."

To be frank, I was actually doing pretty well.  That is to say, I made it down the mountain better than the other three people in the lesson group.  I have pretty decent balance and I was the only one in the group to have even been to a ski mountain in the past.  I had an edge.  Fast forward an hour later and Chelsea and I were feeling all right about this whole deal, if not a little sore.

I was staying out of arm's reach

"Pretend you're having fun and smile."

Another trip up the mountain and we ended up taking a run that had a fall line that was less than enjoyable.  Translated: Screw up and you get dumped into the trees.  This one took about an hour to get our happy asses down.  By the end?  Asses were less than happy.

Oh dear, my poor bum.

Mom said my face would get stuck like that one day.

A bunch of runs later and the two of us were making it well beyond the halfway point without bailing.  Hooray for our side!  Of course, the spills that we were experiencing as our confidence grew began to move from mundane to spectacular.  And, if you must know, I’m having a hard time sitting in my chair today because of it.

We’re already talking about going again next season and actually getting decent at it, though I find myself stuck between two worlds.  I’d love to learn how to snowboard, there’s something about it that’s really rather appealing and we can do it together (d’awww).  But, at the same time, I’m a pretty damn good skier.  It’s just a matter of if I want to spend my money and time on my ass or actually moving down the mountain.

Likely both.

Either way, #12- Learn to Snowboard?  DONE.

Don't eat that, it isn't food.

Notice that I'm standing and not sitting...sitting is overrated.

3 Responses to “#12 – Learn to Snowboard”

  1. Kayle March 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Sounds like you had a great time!
    I hope to learn how to snowboard myself sometime :)

  2. Rhia March 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm #


  3. Shoffy March 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Thanks for the post. It saved MUCH time. (lame)

    Didn’t know you had a blog though. Have to add you to my list. :-)

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