New Tricks for Old Dogs

Today did not go as planned. Finally a day off – ski day! After a very long week last week, with 5 concerts, 7 rehearsals, 2 fitness clients, doc visit (just routine, all fine), traffic, idiot drivers, and way too many hours sitting in my car, I was ready for some fun.

We were in the parking lot of our ski hill (about 2 hours from home) when we realized we didn’t have Ron’s boots. Oops! It was kind of a joint effort on the forgetting – Ron was loading skis and poles in the car, I got my boot bag in, then we both were making sure we had the right hats, gloves, goggles….except we forgot the other boot bag. So, what to do? He checked on renting boots, but their rental boots would have required him to re-drill his bindings – no good. Possible to demo skis and boots, but not sure what they had available right then. Then the guy mentioned he could set Ron up with a snowboard. He decided to give it a try.

By this point we only had a half day (we got a late start – hard to get up super early after so many concerts and late nights). Then, since he was trying something brand new and would be staying on the bunny hill, I decided to ditch my skis for the day and join him. Neither of us had ever been on a snowboard. Woo-hoo, bunny hill!! And we signed up for a beginner lesson (always a good idea when trying something new).

I love to ski. I’m not great, but I love it. I cross-country; I telemark; I downhill. I don’t care what kind, I love being in the snow on skis. Snowboards are not skis.

I felt so completely awkward. I fell over standing up. I couldn’t get up once I was down. But thankfully we had a lesson. We learned how to get up – really important lesson. We went really slowly on mostly flat ground, figuring out our balance, exploring how to turn. Eventually we go to ride the “magic carpet” up to the top of the hill. The bunny hill. Who knew that that little bunny hill could be so intimidating?

Snowboarding is interesting. I had fun. It’s a very core-centric activity. As I worked to find my balance and maneuver myself around, I was very happy that I do planks and other core work.

This is one of the many reasons I like to exercise regularly, why it’s so important to me to stay in relatively good shape. I want to be able, if the opportunity arises, to do new things. And do them with a reasonable chance of not killing myself. I want to be able to say yes to an unexpected invitation to hike to some beautiful lookout, to throw on some snowshoes and get out in the woods on a snowy day, to swim out to some island…and I’d like to someday say yes to surfing (although I’m kind of afraid of big fish, which I see as a bit of a flaw with my plan for dominance in the world of surfing). This is why it was so important for me to try to stay in shape as much as possible during all of my cancer treatments, and even with a spinal injury after my accident. It wasn’t easy. It was definitely a struggle sometimes. But I wanted to be able to get out and do fun things whenever possible. No, I couldn’t do all of the things I could before. But I wanted to be able to do what I could. I never wanted to be the person who has to say, no I’ll just sit here on the couch, I can’t do that.

I don’t have any pictures of our snowboard day. We were both too busy concentrating on figuring this thing out to dig out phones to snap some pics. I did think about it at the very end of the day as I saw all the parents taking pictures of their kids – little kids, who were most of the other people on the bunny hill with us. I would like to point out that they have much less distance to fall when they do a face plant. (I did one really good face plant. And yes, Mom, I did wear a helmet and wrist guards)

And with that, I wish you all a good holiday – whatever you celebrate. Have fun, be safe, and be active!




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