Shaun White Move Over

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Today, I feel giddy!  Winter snow sport time is almost here.  Since relocating from CA to MO winter is a time to dread, fear, eat my weight in chocolate.  However, since my discovery of snowboarding, winters now have a redeeming qualitywell, that and not having to shave my legs for weeks on end.  My fledgling adventure into snowboarding (or some might say, one way ride to Crazy Town) went something like this…

The day I turned 40 was a dark day.  4….0…forty? Turning 30 was no big deal.  I had just gotten together with my soon-to-be husband.  I was looking forward to leaving the smog and traffic in LA behind.  It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

But, turning 40 felt like an epilogue at the end of my book that read “She was in a big hair rock band, and then she turned 40…The End”.

So, I resolved to do something I had never done before – but what?  For days, I racked my brain.  My ultimate teenage goal of marrying Richard Gere seemed pretty much out of the question at this point (according to my husband, anyway).  And, becoming a professional ice skater looked like a dim prospect since, well, I couldn’t even really ice skate.

Then, it came to me.  Of course, why hadn’t I thought of it before?  Just because my one and only foray into this activity 20 years prior had ended in complete disaster was no reason to think I couldn’t succeed now!

I’ll ski!

So I dug out my frighteningly dated, thrift store snow clothes, shoved my feet into some very unattractive boots, strapped a plank to each boot, and headed for the nearest chair lift.  Kindly said, my first attempts were… ungraceful.  I was more down than up and I quickly learned the literal meaning of “eating powder”.  But,  I was determined and no amount of bruises, shouts of “wipe out” from smug little teens floating on the lifts overhead, or hikes around the mountain to locate runaway skis after executing something I liked to call “the flying stop”, was going to deter me.  Little by little I began to improve.

And even as my friends and family quietly looked on in disbelief, (yeah, like the time I wore tie-die leggings to my brother’s wedding wasn’t unbelievable enough!), I went from beginner, to intermediate to, on a really brave day,  an advanced run or two.

But, I wasn’t done yet. As if strapping two planks to my feet and heading down a steep incline wasn’t mind blowing enough, I decided it was time to strap both feet to one plank and attempt to snowboard.   Oh yes, I ate even more powder, acquired more bruises and was heckled by more of those smug little teens.  But, one time floating down a mountain of powder like a surfer in the pipe and I was hooked.

Now finally, after several seasons (although Shaun White need not stress too much), I can at last call myself a “snowboarder”; which, as I said, makes me giddy.

But, honestly, even better than giddy was the proof.  Proof to myself that turning 40 did not mean my only adventure left was getting out of bed in the morning to make coffee (although sometimes, that is pretty harrowing).

And with this evidence, I have proceeded to kick and scream through my 40’s –  looking for new beginnings,  facing challenges, smashing through self-imposed limits and remembering that nobody ever really looked good in spandex.

Not The End

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4 responses

  1. “And with this evidence, I have proceeded to kick and scream through my 40’s – looking for new beginnings, facing challenges, smashing through self-imposed limits and remembering that nobody ever really looked good in spandex.”

    Love this. : )

  2. I liked this story very much. Why didn’t I think of something so adventurous, life-threatening, and thrilling when I turned 40? Oh, that’s right, I did – I returned to teaching school! At least I got paid for my adventure (or misadventure ?) . People are really busy this time of year so maybe don’t have as much computer time, thus the lower number of responses.