It has been a LONG time since I skied. In fact, I am pretty sure the last time I was on the slopes my soon to be college graduate son, Charlie, was about to start high school. I was an “ok” skier (comfortable with blue runs at my own pace) but my son has always been a snowboarder. There is nothing too fast, too steep or too intense for Charlie. I liked two skies on the snow but watched my son enjoy his board. Despite numerous lectures from my baby not to attempt it, I ignored his warnings and decided to give snowboarding a shot. He also informed me that snowboarding in the bib overalls I have owned since my last ski trip would be the equivalent to me wearing “Mom jeans”. Needless to say I made a visit to my local Burlington Coat Factory because God forbid I wear the dreaded “Mom jeans”.
Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah arranged for a private lesson so I could “go for it”. My instructor Tiana took me through each step very slowly as I was truly starting at square one. She even taught me how to properly tie the laces of my boots and carry the board (there are several techniques including the briefcase and behind the back, however I preferred the tuck under the arm). Tiana attempted to boost my confidence by pointing out that the terrain was somewhat flat and arced up so I wouldn’t pick up much speed.
I mastered the magic carpet ride up the bunny slope and sorta/kinda got the concept of turning by shifting my weight. The turn in snowboarding is very gradual and I am not patient to begin with so this was a tough thing for me to learn. However, Tiana celebrated every small victory with high fives and “oh ya” making me feel like Sean White. My instructor felt I was ready to tackle a real run which required I figure out how to get on and off a chair lift that I actually handled quite well.
I used muscles I either forgot I had or never actually used before. The board is propelled with a sliding motion and every now and then it would get slightly ahead of me stretching me into the splits. I couldn’t do the splits in high school or at the peak of my cheer-leading career as a JV Cheerleader at the University of Arizona, so needless to say, walking the next few days was tough. I don’t care though, because I did it, and guess what? Charlie was wrong. It wasn’t that bad.