City Girl vs. Snowboarding
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Okay so I can 100% admit that I never stepped foot on a mountain to ski or snowboard EVER. My family never went as a kid and as an adult up until now I have never gotten the opportunity to do it, but it is something that was on my bucket list (admittedly not at the top). My boyfriend is a HUGE snowboarder and has been dying to get me on a board for over 4 years now. So when 2021 rang in....I surprised him with an entirely booked weekend trip to the Poconos PA to finally teach me how to snowboard. Here is how it went....
One of my biggest fears when I thought about snowboarding or skiing was the dreaded lift. I am DEATHLY afraid of heights. I don't say that lightly. Brian to this day tells the story on how he took me on a *death* hike and I refused to take a picture with him by the scenic overlook. I have full blown panic attacks when faced with heights, and Brian has witnessed them while hiking. If I can see a drop where if I fell I would die...full blown panic and every profanity will leave my mouth. The best I can explain it is that the panic makes it so I cannot feel my body and that alone scares me more because I am now convinced I am about to plummet. So naturally when I thought about sitting on a metal bench swinging hundreds of feet above the ground it was enough to stop me from every making plans to go.
Once I booked the trip and it was official, I decided to focus on buying a cute outfit (for the 'gram obviously) to distract me from the underlying fear of dying on the lift. I did my usual google research and easily found a jacket I loved, but the pants I knew had to be an in person purchase since my hips take after Shakira and do not lie. I dragged Brian to our local snow sport store to check out gloves and pants. I went in wanted slim fit pants (for the aesthetic of it 100%) and battled with Brian for a few minutes until coming down to reality and getting what I like to call "balloon pants". Found children sized gloves for my baby hands that matched my jacket and gave another pop of color, and I was officially excited for the trip.
Anyone who knows Brian and I will attest that we are two of the strongest headed people there are...which makes things difficult when advice is needed on either part. Brian is more assertive and aggressive in nature than I am, and once I am met with assertive behavior I shut down. So to prepare for this trip, I told Brian repeatedly that I am going to dictate when I leave the bunny hill and am comfortable enough to tackle the big hill. After months of prep, he finally agreed. We got to the mountain and I picked up my rentals (board, boots, and brain protector). Brian taught me some basics on how to get around with one foot strapped into the board and started to tell me about the lift. Queue the panic. I could hear his voice but zero words were being absorbed. I know myself and know I struggle with anxiety but never knew the extent of it until this moment. Finally he just said when its time to get off I am going to basically hold you up and drag you so we are not in anyone's way.
The lift was way better than I expected and honestly I felt more secure in the lift that standing on top of the bunny hill. The bunny hill was swarmed with people and again.... queue the panic. I visualized the Final Destination style fall I would take down this bunny hill and tried to convince Brian I needed to be at the TIP TOP of the hill to mentally prepare myself. To which he did not listen and told me to just go. Once I fell a dozen times within a foot span and got the hang of getting up, Brian helped me down the steeper part of the bunny hill and let go.. NOT A SINGLE FALL THE REST OF THE WAY. However, once I got to the bottom I started overheated and could feel the fainting coming so we had to take a mini break for food and powerade (and a pep talk). After I cooled down and refueled, to Brian's surprise, I asked "How much bigger is the big hill than the bunny hill? I think I'd rather that because the tons of people are what are making me anxious."
We strapped up and got on the big lift. There were a couple of bumps during this lift ride that I closed my eyes and prayed to every God imaginable, but alas... I did survive. Brian again dragged me off the lift to get out of everyone's way, and I very slowly approached the top of the trail where you could take blue or green. The idea of taking any trail that was a smidge more difficult than what babies could do was not in my mind, but my board started going toward the beginning of the blue trail and again PANIC CENTRAL. I asked if I could sit down and scoot over to the green trail, and got denied by Brian. We started down the green trail and about 10 feet down I felt my knee lock-up. The pain prevented me from putting my weight where it needed to be to be able to go down the trail how I needed to, so Brian sat with me on the side of the trail to stretch my knee out and hydrate. We tried going down more of the trail and then THE fall happened. I fell on my back and hit my lower spine/tail bone which was previously injured back in the day. I felt the pain go down the nerves in my leg and I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to stand that the tears started.
All of my months of prep with Brian on how to be supportive and be present for me during this trip came in handy because once my tears started, his words of affirmation did as well. He kept telling me how great I was doing and how I was exceeding any expectation that he had for how I would do. After a few minutes, the pain subsided and I decided to get back up. After only a couple of more falls, I knew that I should take the snowboard off and walk it the rest of the way down. I know my body and knew if I pushed it any further I could seriously injure myself. I told Brian to go down as he would if I weren't there and to go on the trail again; figuring by the time he got down the second time I would finally be there to meet him. After his second run, we both decided we should call it a day before one of us got hurt.
Overall, I can see how much fun snowboarding will be once I can actually make it down a trail on my own, but will get professional lessons going forward because having anyone close to you teach you just isn't the same. Brian did a great job teaching me and was extremely patient, but we both agreed I should get lessons. So as scared as I was...I will 100% be back on a board. For now? I will be icing my entire body for a week because there a muscles I didn't even know I had that hurt.