Last weekend my buddy Justin asked me to go snowboarding with him. My answer, of course, was a resounding yes. I agreed to this knowing full well that I have never snowboarded in my life. I have gone skiing a number of times and I consider myself a fairly decent skier even though I have only gone maybe a dozen time. So I said yes to Justin and thought that I am never too old to learn new tricks. That is, after all, the purpose of this journal.
The first thing I do is text my nephew Brandon. He has been snowboarding for quite a long time and so I figured he could give me a few pointers over text. All he said was, and I quote, "Take a lesson if you can, it will help out ALOT and it doesn't lower your street cred. And fall on your ass, not forward." Interesting. I take 2 things from this. One, I have no street cred so I am definitely not worried about that. Two, falling on my tail doesn't sound too difficult. So I tell Justin to give me some quick lessons when he get there.
To Justin's credit, he is a very good instructor. He's not a big time snowboarder but he did a great job explaining to me what needed to be done and had a lot of patience with me at the bunny hill with all of the 6 year old kids flying by. After a few trips down the hill I asked Justin what the next step was. He motioned to the "Family" hill which is a bit longer than the bunny and at the end it transitions to a much larger, longer hill. So we go down the family hill twice and stupidly I tell Justin I'm ready for the transition and the big hill. So we hit it and I find out real quick that I can go REALLY fast if I just stay in a straight line. This is the point where ignorance is bliss because while I am flying down this hill after very minimal practice, I remember what Brandon told me. Fall on my butt. Well, see, the thing is if you don't know what the heck your doing, and you are flying at speeds you didn't think were possible and you find yourself in a situation where you start feeling out of control, falling on your butt isn't necessarily the easiest thing. The front of my board dug into the snow and I go flying, literally, and land face first on the hill and continue to spiral until my limp body finally comes to a stop. This is where my ignorance of pain stopped. For the rest of the night, pain was at the forefront of my mind, not to mention my wrist, shoulder, butt, face, abdomen, hip, and finally my head.
My attempts at the multiple hills became increasingly frustrating because I was simply focusing on controlling my speed and being able to stop when I wanted to. But I think at some point fatigue set in because I simply couldn't do it anymore. We hit one of the intermediate hills, which if I were on ski's I would've been completely OK. But I don't think I can count the number of times I fell. Finally I hit the back of my head behind my ear and immediately got a headache. I told Justin, the nurse, about this and he starts asking me about concussion and symptoms of a concussion. I knew I didn't have one but the headache was there nonetheless. At this point I was tired of getting killed on the hill and with the headache I had to stop. Justin and the other 2 guys we were with continued for about another hour but I was done.
I had an absolute blast and my need for an adrenaline spike definitely got satisfied. But I realized I might need to stick to ski's, much to the dismay of my nephew. Next time Justin calls, I'm using the ski's.