I cried. I hated snowboarding. I decided that I never wanted to snowboard again.
I remember that moment well. And I really did think at the time that I would never try snowboarding again. Obviously, I got over that. But I wanted to share with you the few minutes where it could have gone either way and why snowboarding is so much more to me than just strapping on a board and riding down a mountain.
You see, I wasn’t the most sporty kid. In fact, you could say I was the opposite. At school, when it came time to choose your team mates, I was always the last one to be chosen, pretty much every single time. I gotta say, it does a world of good for your confidence! NOT. I also remember my sister trying to teach me how to catch (she was of course extremely good at sport). It would have been hilarious to watch, but mainly because of my consistent inability to catch the ball. I'm so glad we didn’t have Facebook back then.
Fast forward to the late 20 something adult version of that kid. Mick and I were living in London, doing the working holiday thing. As all Aussies do, we embraced as many opportunities that we could whilst we were over there and decided to go on a snowboarding holiday to Chamonix in France. I booked myself in for 5 days of snowboarding lessons.
Day 1 wasn’t so bad. We were in a group of about 8, learning the basics and everyone was falling over. Day 2 was when it all went downhill and all those childhood memories came flooding back. I wasn’t ‘getting’ things as quickly as everyone else and we progressed onto a run which was accessed by a button (or Poma) lift. I just couldn’t get the hang of it and kept falling off. Anyone who has ever fallen off one of these lifts will know that there is a moment where you have to decide if you hang on to it and let it drag you up in the most embarrassing way possible, or bail out and try to roll out the way of oncoming skiers and snowboarders. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this video below. It’s on a T-bar instead of a button lift but it's pretty much the same concept.
I think I did a bit of a drag, drop and roll combo off the button lift. I would then walk uphill to the rest of my group who were waiting for me. When I finally got there, we were straight back down the mountain again. It was like this for the next 4 days. I was knackered, bruised and every muscle hurt. I felt bad for holding the rest of the group up and I’m pretty sure the instructor was feeling frustrated too. I cried behind my goggles almost every day and all I could think about was getting through the 5 days. I just couldn’t snowboard and I wasn’t having any fun.
I finished up the last day and was ready to cut and burn all my snowboarding attire. I figured that I had given it a good go but it just wasn’t for me. Then Mick suggested we do a run together. I declined the offer but he pretty much begged. So after a bit of a dummy spit I reluctantly agreed to just ONE run.
I’m not sure what happened on that run. Maybe it was the lack of pressure, the lack of judgement, or maybe I just didn’t care anymore but for the very first time on that run, I linked a turn! HOLY SHIT! It finally clicked. I finally realised why people found snowboarding fun and I suddenly wanted to do more.
That is one of those moments I look back on often and ask what if? What if I didn’t do that one run? One run is all it took for that life changing moment. One that has had a huge and positive impact on my life. I realised that I wasn’t that kid anymore and that maybe if I just gave things a go, I might actually be ok at them.
So if you’ve tried skiing or snowboarding (or anything else for that matter) and thought that you weren’t good at it, then maybe you just need a little more time? I'm so glad that I did that ONE run, otherwise The Snow Chasers wouldn't exist and I would have missed out on killer runs like this one below.
Check out my tips for your first time skiing or snowboarding and have another go!
How about you? Can you relate? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! (Make sure you click on 'subscribe via e-mail' to be notified when we write back).
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.