The first time I tried snowboarding, I probably fell almost every minute on the minute. Watching two-year-olds on skis and leashes zoom past me on the bunny hill, I tried to keep my resolve—and my balance.
My days of surfing had not prepared me for the snow, and banging my knees on ice felt nothing like wiping out in water. Sometimes when I fell, it was powdery. Those times, I would just lie down for a minute to catch my breath. Other times, my landing was rock-hard. But even worse was falling into sludge and feeling gray water slip into my boots.
At first, it seemed like my board had only two speeds—stopped on its side or full steam ahead. On my first day, my regret at not having signed up for formal lessons nagged at the back of my mind. But after hours of trying and failing and having the wind knocked out of me, something seemed to finally click when I squatted lower and angled my board just so. I had unlocked a third speed—normal beginner’s pace.
Eventually, several day trips to our local ski resort later, I was able to comfortably maneuver my board, turn, and break without falling backward. I have since graduated from the bunny slope to an intermediate hill. On my snowboarding journey, there have been ups and downs. My nonlinear progression has included some days with more falls than others, but some when I’ve been confident enough to tackle expert, black-diamond slopes. On those days, usually, I’ve committed to the slope before my nerves kick in after I see it from the lift.
But regardless, I am excited for next snowboarding season.
Bronx, New York