20 February 2013

on control

20 February 2013

keeping up with my "get out and do" intention for 2013, james and i went to granite peak to snowboard this past weekend. well, that was the plan.

the plan was for james to teach me to snowboard because we both thought i might take to it better than skiing. i had been skiing only twice before, once when i was 9 and once at 22. both trips were to colorado, and the last time, in telluride, i was wholly unprepared for the mountain and the skillz of the group i was with. i was the last person down the mountain every run and completely out of my league. 

even though i was terrified and slightly mortified at how bad i was, i still wanted to be a part of the ski culture. i still wanted to take winter trips, get out in the fresh air and feel comfortable on a mountain.


james is from wisconsin and has the whole winter sports thing down pat, so we both felt confident that he could teach me to snowboard. we set out for granite peak, gear in hand and our spirits high. 

i got fitted for boots, rented a board, and we trekked out to a bunny hill to learn the basics. and that's about where things fell apart. i couldn't decide if i felt more comfortable with my dominant foot in back or front, i didn't like "scooting" to the lift with one foot out of the bindings like i was on a skateboard, and i definitely couldn't find my balance. i couldn't make it more than a couple of feet without falling over and i couldn't control my speed.

that's the scariest, isn't it? the feeling that you will hurtle down a hillside, out of control and gaining speed? we like to have the sense of control over our lives - that things will not spin out of control, and if they should start to, that we have the power to slow it down and get back on track. 

i wanted james to just tell me how to do it and boom, i would be able to board. and james wanted me to be more patient. i was about ready to throw in the towel and head back for chicago, sure that i wasn't cut out for granite peak, let alone any more trips to colorado, and that's where my ever-patient husband asked me to trade in my boards for skis and try it again.

i didn't want to ruin our trip, but my confidence was shot and i wasn't sure that putting on skis was going to change anything. and that's when i remembered that i did have control. 

i could control how i reacted to the boarding attempt, how i internalized it, and how it would color the rest of my trip. i told myself if i could hack a mountain in colorado, i could manage a wisconsin peak on skis. 

james suggested i take a ski lesson the next morning (which i had never done before, somehow...) and we swapped out my board for skis. and then it all fell into place. by comparison, the skis felt so natural and we took several greens (i.e. beginner runs) the rest of that afternoon. the lesson the next morning further boosted my confidence and we skied the rest of the day.


believe me, i am still very much a beginner skier, but i have the tools now to slow things down when i get going too fast. we're already planning our next trip to granite peak and plotting out how to ease into the blue runs.

 via

9 comments:

Alyssa said...

Eek! Go you! I am terrified of skiing and snowboarding. I went once and liked it, but since then have had a lot of knee surgeries, so safe to say I'll probably never try it again. I'll stick to drinking hot chocolate in a lodge!

Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

You guys are just like me & my husband- I ski & he snowboards :-)


always, koru kate

Taylor O'Shaughnessy said...

I have only ski'd twice and snowboarded once, and I'm from Georgia, so clearly I suck at all involved. I loved snowboarding because the group I was with were amazing skiers so I had more fun not being left out and sucking (aka falling) on my own. I could NOT decide what foot to put forward and only got off the chairlift once without falling. Skiing I felt much more comfortable.... but I think I am awful at both. Kip is an amazing snowboarder so I really need to find a way to enjoy the sport. ugh. but you look adorable and glad you had a great day skiing :)

Chelsea said...

I have never ever been skiing! I have always wanted to but totally terrified at the same time!

Lena said...

Horray for conquering your fears–it's not an easy hurdle to get over when you're whizzing down an icy slope! Growing up, I loved to ski but a foot injury makes it tough to stay strapped in a boot all day long–how I miss it!

Arv said...

I love your bravery -- it's really scary to try new things and fail at them, but it's absolutely true that HOW you respond to that stuff makes all the difference. :) Also, I love you guys in goggles. Someone should bring that to a runway.

Annie said...

Such a rockstar post ANC! Loved reading this and so appreciated the feelings you wrote regarding control.. the scariest, to feel like we don't have it. And on top of a mountain.. it's less metaphorical than it is literal compared to most of life. So awesome that you didn't let the board get you discouraged enough to throw in the towel on the whole expedition Homegirl just had to find her sweet spot was all :)

Jen said...

I've never tried snowboarding...to be honest I'm too scared. I've known too many people who've broken arms and legs doing it that I try to stick to my skis. I give you so much credit for attempting it! Glad you ended up back on skis and managed to stay in one piece!


xo jen
pearlsandlaceblog.com

Alexa Evans said...

Oh man I totally failed at snowboarding the first day. I even fell off the lift! Matt was very patient, and I feel like it's one of those things that you'll get better at as you keep trying! Good luck friend!

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