Location: Oregon, United States

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I Did on My Spring Break

This is Spring Break for my kids, so I decided to take time off, too. We haven't done anything spectacular, but we've been having a good time being together. We planned a Board Game Day for today, but realized that the whole world is not on break and it wasn't going to happen, so we rescheduled for Sunday. I took William to get his infusion and puttered on my computer for a couple of hours. Thomas and I went to Powell's Books and an Art Supply store. Stephen and I plan to eat lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Good, solid relaxing time.

But Tuesday was my highlight, because we went to the mountain. The ski conditions aren't FANTASTIC, but still GREAT, so I decided this was the day I would learn to snowboard. Stephen agreed to try it with me.

Stephen is hilarious when he's looking forward to doing something. Suddenly he goes all micro-manager on all of us, making sure that we've packed appropriately and badgering us to leave earlier than is sane. He wanted to leave around 6:30 a.m. It is a two hour drive and the rental shop and lifts don't even open until 9:00, so this is really harsh. Especially since we automatically slipped into vacation mode by staying up until 1:30 a.m. But we said we'd try. We did try, but we didn't leave until 7:30. In hindsight, it would have been better to actually leave closer to 6:30 if we wanted to get on the mountain before 10 a.m.

Still, we made pretty good time until we saw the notice that chains were required to get up the last stretch of mountain to the lodge. The last time we had to put on chains, the guy directing traffic had to help us just to get us out of the way. So we haven't really learned this skill yet. But we gamely got out of the car, and spread out the instructions, hoping that this would signal do-gooders that we are complete noobs, and started in. Surprisingly, we got them on with relative ease independently, boosting our self esteem and survival skill points significantly, and we were on our way again.

Finally, we were on the mountain, tricked out with our gear. I was totally stoked because I found out that, due to the fact that my natural stance is with my right foot forward, I am considered "Goofy" foot and not "Regular". Goofy sounds tres cool to me. Stephen and I weren't able to make the first lesson, so we decided to putter around on our own after a few tips from Thomas' friend, Daniel. This proved to be an utterly frustrating experience for Stephen, who repeatedly asked permission to use expletives to describe his current state of being and the worthless nature of learning this new skill. We decided it would be best to see if he could switch out his gear and get skis. They kindly switched him out with no extra charge. Sweet.

But I decided to stick to the plan. I really wanted to give it a try. So after lunch, off I went to my class. I was clearly the oldest, and strangely, the only white person in my class until another young woman arrived late. We learned how to get around with one foot strapped in, which did some major tugging on my weaker knee and started to worry me a bit. Maybe if I switched to Regular? Give up the coolness of being Goofy? Something to think about.

Then we made our way to a small half pipe to practice, and eventually made it onto the bunny hill to try our skills there. First, backwards, digging in our toe side (do not curl your toes, this doesn't help at all, not to mention the charlie horse). Then forward, digging in our heel side. Then curves from each position. Then combining the two to zigzag down the slope. This was utterly exhausting and took a lot of practice just to get the skill down enough before moving on to the next one.

So here's where I brag just a bit: I was the fastest learner in the class and went from level I to level III during this lesson. Thank you! Thank you very much! At first I thought it was because I've skied for so long but later I wondered if it was easier for me because I used to water ski - similar in that, when slaloming, your feet are both strapped in to one ski and you need to be aware of your edges. Hmm. Either way, that was an ego boost.

That said, the harsh reality is that I was sweating buckets after the second skill we learned on the half pipe and shaking from exhaustion by the end of the lesson, making it difficult to get on the chair lift without wrecking. I'd fallen more times than I could count, reaching back to catch myself with my hands, which I quickly figured out must be how many people break their wrists, because they ached immediately. That, and my tailbone, which was clearly compromised after a few contacts with the packed snow.

But I would totally do it again! This is one super-fun way to spend a day! Skiing always does this to me. I get on the slope and I immediately start devising ways to get back on the slope again. Maybe if I taught lessons. Maybe if we got a cabin. Maybe if I took every Wednesday off during the winter. Maybe if I called it therapy and brought my people out with me...

For now, I'm off to yoga to work out some of the residual kinks. And tomorrow I've got a massage scheduled to get the rest of the kinks out of my neck, which is clearly attached to the tailbone and not at all happy with the spills. But this will not stop me. I'll be back...


Blogger Bethany said...

Whooo! Way to go Lydia! I remember the time Karen and I tried to learn to snow board.

it was not very fun. my butt hurt.

also, the thing I like about skiing is going really fast. so i had about ZERO patience with snowboarding because I wanted to be able to go fast right away. :P lol

love you! love hearing how y'all are doing!
<3 Bethany :)

8:01 PM  

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