there's a preacher, a rabbi ( I almost typed rabbit...ha ha) and Whitney strapped onto a snowboard again. That's the joke and the punch line. If you don't get it at all, I'll tell you what's supposed to be funny about this not-at-all-joke: me snowboarding, AGAIN. Come to think of it maybe a rabbit and preacher would make for a better post but alas NO!! I'm committed to writing my misery down for posterity.
To start off, for the whole drive to Shasta I couldn't really tell if I was just uber nervous about snowboarding on a real mountain, a little queasy from the two super sugary lattes I downed earlier that morning or just getting car sick. It turned out I had a good case of the heeby-jeebies. I had a feeling I would be okay on the actual mountain, but had worked myself into a fine frenzy stressing out about the dreaded lift. Strike 1.
We got to the mountain and I started to panic. I asked Aaron every question I could think of. Me: Aaron, how do I do this? what do I do with this? how does this go on my head? what happens if I die? You know, questions every beginner snowboarder asks. Aaron answered patiently and led me toward the bottom of the hill. Then I saw it. THE LIFT. Strike 2. For your information, I hadn't been to an actual snow park in over 4 years, so I didn't remember much about this whole routine. Aaron told me I had to strap one foot in and push off with the other then slide my way to the front. Eh? What? Nonetheless, I managed to pseudo-slide myself over to the line at the speed of -5 MPH and got ready to ride the lift. So far so good. Aaron then started coaching me about how to get off the lift and I was pretty sure I could handle it. Turns out I was sooooo wrong. I could not handle it and did not. I keeled forward on my left knee as if to pray for deliverance and bloodied my knee ( false alarm....I didn't) but couldn't confirm my suspicion because that would mean undoing, well, never mind. Strike 3. I think I took an okay run. But it may have taken me around 1 entire hour of my life to get to the bottom. However, I saw no obvious blood gushing from any newly developed holes in my body so I was ready to go again. I had to try again.
So, I drug me and my board to the lift and started to psych myself out about the diabolic lift again. Apparently all I had to do was just stand on my board and lean. Oh really? No one told me it was that easy!! I guess I misunderstood again because it wasn't. IT WAS NOT EASY. The second time I landed flat on my backside and wanted to wail like an I don't know what out of the 100% pain that pulsed through my everything. I groaned and moaned and wanted to pull myself to the snow cave to die. But there was no snow cave. It turns out I wasn't dying and I still had to get down to the bottom of the blasted hill. I did and things went a little better, except for every time I fell (only every foot or so), I hit the exact spot on my tailbone that made me repeat the death-groan. After that, I decided to park myself and board at the lodge with my friend who had managed to break her tailbone on the same said lift. We shared our tragic stories for a couple of hours. I then became bored and pep talked myself into another run. Strike 5,090.
At that point I felt that I really understood what I had to do to overcome the lift. Several people had coached me in the lodge about how to do it. It was go time. It was the same routine as the other two times: feelings of terror as we climbed the Mt. The point to get off the chair came and I stood up AND.....fell right on my butt again. Ow! Ow! OW! It was again a fact that I did not get off the lift in an appropriate manner, but I managed to suck it up and decided to go down again. At that point I was tired and bruised. Don't get me wrong. I feel like I rode well, until the bitter, bitter end. I dug my toe-side into the snow and ate it hard. I had an instant headache and jaw ache. Crud. I pulled my tenderized, raw body up and started to go again. No I didn't. I fell. Again. I got Up. Went Down. Up. Down. Repeat that about 209 times and that was my ride. Somehow, it ended in weird, unexpected tears and me saying in between sobs " I hate this and want to quit!!" I managed to get up again and kind of make it to the bottom of the hill where I unstrapped and walked the rest of the way. Whitney out. I stomped my way back to the lodge and air dried.
Now after all of that, one may think that I learned my lesson and will never go snowboarding again. Oh how wrong you are. Despite all of that I honestly learned a lot (except how to get off the lift) and plan to try my newly acquired skills this next weekend, with some extra padding on both my knees and butt. To be continued.