I am pleased to report that I completed a session of snow boarding today WITHOUT breaking my collarbone. However, that's all that went well.
Snowboarding is hard because it uses an important muscle that I rarely exercise -- the falling muscle. Ok, ha ha, I kid. There is no one falling muscle, there are like 5 of them. Today I exercised my falling forward muscle, my falling backwards muscle, my slide on your side muscle, my face planting muscle, and my AAAAAAAAAAAH muscle. It was a pretty good workout. I will be sore all over tomorrow.
First, I took a two hour class at the top of a VERY windy mountain at Squaw Valley. The teacher, who had a penchant for understatement, kept saying that it wasn't normally this windy. Of course not! Who would expect it to be windy at the top of a 7000ft mountain in the middle of winter? I'm sure it's usually quite lovely.
She also kept saying, "Lean on your front foot, Mike!". The other two variations of this were, "Ok, try leaning more on your front foot" and "Alright, how about leaning less on your front foot?". None of these requests really seemed to help me steer the snowboard. It pretty much went where it wanted to.
Snowboards really have two major problems. First, there's no way for a beginner to stop other than crashing yourself into the icy snow. In skiing you first learn how to snow plow, but in snowboarding, you pretty much learn how to point downhill and go. Stopping is for olympians. The other problem with snowboards is that they slide in all directions. Just because I'm LOOKING to the left,and LEANING to the left, and my board is POINTING to the left, doesn't necessarily make the board go to the left. It goes where the hurricane-force winds blow it.
After my lesson, I spent a little while over at Papoose slope. "Papoose" is a Native American word for Watch The White Man Exercise His Falling On His Ass Muscle. I must say, it's an aptly named hill. I fell down that hill a couple times before deciding that I'm really really awful at snowboarding. I called it a day at that point.
Considering that it was my first day snowboarding in8 years, and I sucked pretty bad 8 years ago, things went as well as could be expected, given that I'm an uncoordinated spaz. Now, it's snowing. Hopefully that won't impact the ability of my city-trained car from being able to drive home tomorrow.
More bitching later.