Saturday, February 13, 2010

My First Time Snowboarding!

I have lived in Utah my whole life where we have the greatest snow on earth. The cross country skiing for the 2002 Olympic was actually on the hill right behind the house I grew up in, where my dad still lives. My mom met my dad when she moved here from California to ski. I even worked at the Park City ski resort in high school. Despite all these things, I have never, until yesterday, gone skiing or snowboarding. Pretty pathetic, hu?

When I was in high school, I did go up to Park City with my friends, Ben and Dustin, and they were going to teach me how to ski. Well, we went to rent me some gear, but ended up not being able to because we weren't old enough. You had to be 18 or 21, and I was the oldest at 16 or 17. We ended up just going to Denny's and sharing a huge banana split, and I was secretly relived about not doing it.

Yesterday afternoon my dad came and picked up the kids, then I hurried over to Pete's work and picked him up. We drove my dad's car up to the park and ride at the mouth of the canyon leading up to Brighton Ski Resort where our friends, Kaleb and Suzanne, were waiting for us. We loaded our snowboards into their car and rode with them the rest of the way. It's quite a ways up there! I had actually been to Brighton before, but in the summer, for girls camp.

As we were pulling into the parking lot, I just had this feeling like something was going to happen again so that I wouldn't be able to go through with it. We had all our gear, though, and soon we had our lift tickets. We made a quick stop in the bathrooms, and before I knew it, I was clipping my right foot into the binding, and I tried not to look like an idiot as pushed the board over with my left foot to the line for the lift. Now my heart was pounding and I felt a little bit like I was going to throw up, but the thing with ski lifts is you can't really wait around. When it's your turn, the lift just picks you up, and you're on your way up the mountain! I couldn't believe how long we sat on the lift either. It just kept going up, up, up the mountain! I was able to relax for a little while, but then we got to the top and Pete instructed me on how to just ride my board off the lift. Ah! I thought for sure I would crash first thing, but I didn't! I just rode it down! Then we stopped and got our left feet hooked in, and made our way over to the start of the run.

Since the only downhill snow sport I'd ever done was sledding at our little hill in Heber, I really didn't know what to expect for a ski run. I always pictured it as being able to see the bottom of the run from the top, and just having it be a pretty strait shot down. You seasoned skiers/snowboarders are probably laughing at me, but for some reason that's what I had always pictured. It's not like that at all. You're on TOP OF A MOUNTAIN! There's not just like one little place to go, there are huge wide paths winding around the mountain with other paths sometimes crossing or joining them. It's crazy!

It's also a lot HARDER than I thought it would be. I was like, "Oh, I've been skim boarding a lot, wake boarding a few times (a long time ago) and surfing a couple of times so I should be able to do it." Well, it's kind of like those other things, but not really. You have to stand on the board for a long time and steer it. Of course, the first run I wasn't really standing that much. I was sitting down quickly a LOT. It took us a long time to get down the first run, but I did make it down. Pete said it was probably only half an hour.

Once we got down, we headed right back up the nearest lift, and it turned out to be a blue square run (which means it's harder). We still did it. I mean, what else could we do? It was really hard, though, and it took us forever to get down. There were a lot of places where it flattened out so you had to be going pretty fast to get past, but we weren't going very fast so we'd get stuck. Suzanne and I got stuck that is. Pete and Kaleb could have done it, but they stuck around for us. There were a lot of people zooming past that made me want to curl up in a ball sometimes. I'm amazed no one ran into me with how much I fell down. At one point, I was trying to get through one of these places, and I took my back foot out to push myself a little. I guess this was a bad idea, though, because my foot hit my board and slipped and I fell pretty hard. Pete was ahead waiting for me, and I was laying there making sure my ankle was ok, because it had kind of hurt pretty bad, when this guy came carving right by me and sprayed me with snow. It wasn't really a big deal, at all, but it kind of made me feel good that Pete was like, "Hey, you just sprayed snow all over my wife back there!" when he went past him. I'm glad he didn't get into a fight or anything, but it was kind of nice that he stuck up for me like that.

When we got to the end of that long hard run, Pete and I went to the car for some cookies and Gatorade and to get me some warmer socks because my toes were freezing. I felt better after that, then we headed back up to the easier run. We were just getting clipped in up there when Kaleb and Suzanne got off the lift. Perfect timing! We decided that Suzanne and I would go down the easy one together so Pete and Kaleb could go down a harder one. I told her that this would probably be my last one, but it ended up being so much better! I actually felt like I was kind of getting it, and we got to the bottom much faster! We got to the bottom and got right back on the lift to do it again. Suzanne was so much fun to hang out with too!

When we got to the top, it was 5 to 9, and they close at 9 so we knew this would be our last run. This one was my favorite one. For one thing, it was awesome that there was hardly anyone left on the slopes, but mostly I just felt so much better. I didn't fall down very much at all this time, though I did have to sit down a couple times to rest my legs. My thighs would just start burning when I'd stay standing for more than a few minutes. It was crazy. I felt so out of shape, I just couldn't stand it! I'm just not in snowboarding shape. Yet.

Overall I had a REALLY fun night! It was way more epic than I thought it would be. Being up there on top of the mountain, in the woods, in the dark, was so awesome. I can't wait to go do it again!


Today I am mostly sore in my arms and shoulders! I didn't expect that at all. I expected my butt and thighs to be sore, which they are, but not as sore as my arms. I guess all my "sitting down quickly" and pushing myself back up was hard on my arms!

I was scheduled to run 10 miles today, but I wasn't going to do that. I did do 4 miles, then I came back and put Pete's Newtons on and ran around the block. I was much more careful this time. I don't want to be in pain all week again! I was going to go twice around the block, but when I got back to my house I felt a twinge in my calf that told me to just be done. I still haven't gotten my own Newtons yet, but I think I've decided to go with them. I just need to go pick some up sometime!


  1. I am thinking I need some Newtons ASAP. They seem to be such a superior shoe -- and the technique seems to make sense to me.

    The first time I went snowboarding I fainted in the shower afterwards. I was 50 + lbs heavier than I am now -- and my big ole' body just could not handle it. I've never tried it since.

  2. What a great way to spend an evening. Do you do any strength training? I have discovered some interesting connections to how it impacts triathlon performance. This Newton running shoe is new to me. I've heard of Vibram 5 toe running shoes and tried them out once. Thanks for sharing your experience running. I'll have to check out Newton running shoes.

  3. Awesome report on snowboarding!! Proud of you! What's next? Big skis? Happy Valentine's Day!