Snowboarding 101

April 4, 2013

Warning: for a story like this, the Swear Jar is out of order. Just sayin’.

Mama's Losin' It

Linking up with MamaKat today, answering the prompt: Write about something new you tried.

I live in Colorado. Mountainous, glorious, hot-dang awesome Colorado–nature’s playground. Y’all should come. You’ll love the snow and the energy and the “Let’s go tackle that mountain, yarrrgghh!” attitude. We are badass dudes, here.

Well, except for me. I know I grew up in North Dakota (where they sent us out to recess in -2 degree weather because Swedes are tough, dammit!), and I know how to ride a storm out…safely burrowed in my house…but other than that? Nope. Especially when it comes to winter sports. Winter sports require coordination and endurance and guess what? I got nothin’ in that department.

This dorkstore can’t even ride a bike. God overlooked me in the balance department. I also have Raynaud’s phenomenon, so if I’m out in the cold, I get white and blue and numb. I’m a human popsicle.

So why would I agree to spend an entire weekend in frigid weather, attempting to ride a weirdo skateboard-looking thingy down a tall mountain, without any experience whatsoever?

Stupidity. And fresh, newly minted love.

I’d gotten married in September, and months later, when the white death started falling like gangbusters, my husband thought it would be terrific fun to introduce me to his favorite winter sport. At first I didn’t believe him.

“You’re from fucking Texas,” I said. “That was one of your selling points–Texans don’t do winter.”

“Of course we do winter,” he countered. “You’re not afraid, are you?”


So we get up ass-crack early, shlep to the mountains, and pay an astronomical amount of money for lift tickets, lessons, and rental gear. People pay good money for this?

Actually, I’m kind of in love with my snowboarding boots. They’re plush and poofy and cuddly–not at all like ski boots, which are the footwear equivalent of anvils. I prance about in my posh, comfy boots and think, hey, this ain’t so bad.

Then I meet my snowboarding instructor and things really ain’t so bad. Male. Young. Australian. Gosling-like. I love snowboarding already.

I love it when he shows me how to secure my boots onto the board. I love it when he tells our small group, in his charming accent, that “Don’t panic and don’t be discouraged because everyone learning to snowboard spends most of the first day on your bum.”

I don’t love it so much when that happens to be true. Especially for me.

Okay, have you ever been in an exercise class or a lesson of some sort and there’s always that one person who is just embarrassingly, hideously bad and you pity them, but you’re also wickedly grateful because you are not that person? It’s such a relief.

I was that person.

I couldn’t balance on that thing to save my life. Snow + my ass = best friends. I was so inept that when it was time to graduate from the bunny hill, hot Aussie snowboarding instructor insisted on riding the chairlift with me to the big hill. That was just gee-dandy with me.

Until it became close to the end of chairlift, when I knew I’d probably fall again on my ass on dismount but fuckit, I was NOT going to fall, notgoingtofallnotgoingtofall and hot Aussie was going to be so proud of me that maybe he’d even give me a congratulatory hot Aussie hug.

I got so excited about my impending embrace that as the chairlift approached the ramp, I jumped off way too early, barely even hitting solid ground. With my face. I vaguely remember hearing hot Aussie shouting, “Mate! That’s not the time to get off!”

Pride in stride, I immediately leapt to my feet. Take that, you suckas! I’m just fine and I’m going to kick ass on this hill, just you…


The chairlift I’d prematurely exited smashed me directly in the back of the head, launching me forward for another wintery facial. As I flew forward, I could hear the other students (waiting at the chairlift exit) give a collective gasp. A few even murmured, “Duuuuude.”

There are few things more damaging to your pride than being strapped down and fleeing a mountain on the Emergency First Aid Sled, red and yellow flags waving in your wake. I console myself that it was only a minor concussion.

That head of mine is harder than granite.



{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer April 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

He lied. Texans don’t do winter.

And OMG, OUCH!!!!


Arnebya April 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

(Swear jar is still broken. Missing?) Fuck winter and its stupid ass sports. I have skied once and that was enough to tell me there was no need to ever try to snowboard. I’ma just sit over here and be cute.


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm


I’ll sit and be cute with ya, girl. Cause that’s all I’m good for.


Jamie April 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

Best. Story. Ever. Soooo freaking funny. Do the Minxes board? If yes, I’m sure you’ve logged a lot of hours in a ski lodge, drinking adult beverages and reading your kindle. Or is that just me?


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm


The Minxes can snowshoe and sled and that’s about it. At least 5 people die skiing/boarding in Colorado a year, and I’m too paranoid to take chances. And yet I let them eat Tyson chicken nuggets, which are probably more lethal. And no, it isn’t just you–the best thing about skiing is Apres Ski.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri April 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

Native Texans do not do winter. In fact, we literally cannot do anything when 1 inch of snow falls on the ground. Schools and businesses are closed and the whole state goes in lock down mode.

The only way I’ve ever enjoyed skiing and snowboarding is via a window. Watching others and sipping my hot chocolate next to the fireplace.


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm


You can hang out with me any time, girl.


Samantha Angela April 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

Why didn’t you try skiing instead? It’s so much easier. . . I think. I’ve only ever skiied but I’ve never tried snowboarding before. I hear it’s a steep learning curve and I’d rather spend at least some of my weekend on my feet.


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm


Actually, I can ski. Barely. My father forced me to learn. But I still suck.


Biz April 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I can cross country ski, but that’s about it – I’d be the one right next to you on the ground if that’s any consolation! :D


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm


Cross-country is wicked hard! I did it once and my butt never recovered!


Elle April 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I fell skiing 18 years ago and got one of those nifty skidoo-behind-a-stretcher rides. I haven’t mustered the courage to ski again since.


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm


Aren’t those rides special? It’s like announcing you have a hemorrhoid or something.


jess April 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

OUch!! I feel your pain tho as I took up skiing this last season and it kicked my butt!! But kudos to you for doing it!!! :) You going to go again next season or are you done with it forever?? :)


TKW April 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm


The “incident” was 12 years ago so I think you have your answer. I’m strictly an indoor girl from now on. :)


Sherri April 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I was “that person” too – years ago in my twenties – have not gone back to boarding (and I always fancied myself pretty athletic and a former skateboarder – but could NOT get the hang of it – on my ass / over the snow fence, etc. all day!). I do ski but do NOT board.


Dawn April 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I was going to ask if husband ever asked you to go again…but I guess from Jess’s question and your response that would be a “No!” But heck, I’m sure there are lots of things you do way better than him! And being married doesn’t mean we have to like the same stuff as our spouse. Just ask mine! LOL! I so enjoy your writing.


TKW April 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Things I do better than him:
1. Not fart at the breakfast table
2. Not snore like a warthog.
3. Not have to shave my back hair

Thank Goodness he’s killa hot and tolerant of my moods. :)


Dawn April 6, 2013 at 5:09 am

All good things at which to excel.


TKW's Dad April 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I think TKW got it from her Dad, who was turned around, skiing down backwards, fell and broke his leg. The emergency ski sled, and the drinks at the pub at the bottom waiting for the other skier’s to arrive before driving home was the best bit of the day.


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

I know, Dad–you’re a badass! You had cocktails and drove all the way home and didn’t even go to the ER until the next freaking day! With a broken leg!

I’ll never forget when I looked up and saw you skiing backwards. C. shook her head and said, “What on Earth is he doing?” And I said, “I don’t think he meant to do that…”


Cadry April 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Oh, my gosh, you poor thing! But at least you have a story to tell, right? ;)


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:11 am


That’s always my consolation for the dumbass stuff I do. There’s always a story out of it, eh?


Contemporary Troubadour April 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Both my husband and I have crazy ski accident stories. His involves being airlifted off the mountain by chopper. You two should have an apres-ski pow wow together to swap opinions on which ride is more nauseating with a concussion …


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:13 am


I am jealous of your husband! Rescue via chopper is way more glamorous than the rickety First Aid Sled. WOW.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me April 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Every time I thought I hit the funniest line…wrong. This is perhaps your funniest ever (that I’ve read, anyway). Winter sports (hell, just winter) (OK, just sports) suck. A lot. My idea of winter sports is burning a calorie by lifting my steaming coffee mug as I watch the snow fall from INSIDE my house. When the Hub wanted to introduce me to skiing, I said, “You mean outside? In the snow? On purpose? You must be kidding. Have a great time.” Last time I got invited. I raise my cup of hot coffee to you.


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:14 am


Spike that sucker with some brandy, wouldja? :)


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 5, 2013 at 4:15 am

Oh don’t I know how that feels…
I once foolishly decided it would be fun to learn boardsailing. I love water, I’m an excellent swimmer, this made total sense…
Until of course there was the fact that I had to balance on a board holing a HUGE sail and try not to fall off when the wind was blowing REALLY hard.
First day : I got stuck in the no-wind zone (they exist apparently) and had to be brought back to base with a motorboath. Me= sittng on the board, being pulled around the lake by a motorboat, in front of hunderd of youngsters with whom I was going to spend two weeks at camp.


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:15 am


I didn’t think it was possible to love you more, but now I do.


Pamela April 5, 2013 at 5:27 am

Oh my gosh. I laughed so hard I cried. Mate that is not the time to get off! You are such a good writer!!


TKW April 5, 2013 at 7:17 am


Thank you, but truthfully, a failure of this proportion sort of wrote itself. SO humiliating!


Robin April 5, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hysterically funny! Except for the concussion – OUCH!

When I move from the East Coast to the West Coast, I drove through Texas. I was there Christmas Eve night with my two young children and woke up Christmas Day to SNOW. It was snowing so hard that I was afraid to get back on the road. When I decided, heck with it (I don’t usually need a swear jar), it was so freaking cold that the battery in the rented truck, which was carrying all of our household belongs and had the car in tow, had died over night. Unbelievably, I got a tow-truck driver to come out to the Best Western and give me a charge. My point: it snows in Texas. My husband was all warm and toasty in San Diego. (We are back on the East Coast.)


Robin April 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

“moved” – I can’t let things like that go. I should just send the comment and not look back :)


Liz April 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

Okay, this reminded me of your Santa post. I laughed out loud. A lot. So much that Little One thought he was being funny, and I just let him roll with it.
The boots? That would so be me.
The falling on the ass. Me again.
And the chairlift on the head? Yep. I can see that too.

P.S. I usually AM that person in the exercise class…which is why I stick to the treadmill and weights. Alone. I nearly died of anxiety when I took a spinning class for the first time a few months ago. Was sure I’d fall off the bike.


TKW April 5, 2013 at 8:56 am


Ha! You know that lack of balance thingy I have going on? A friend talked me into going to a Yoga class once. Picture it. Never went back.


Kate April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

I’m from Texas. I don’t do winter. What is this white stuff you speak of?


tracy@sellabitmum April 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

OMG I have purple and white hands too. And I still live in Fucking Minnesota. The fuck?


TKW April 7, 2013 at 11:26 am


What do you do to cope? Raynaud’s blows. Do you just hang out in a bunker for months like Dick Cheney?

Don’t think I haven’t contemplated it, and I just live in Colorado. I know Minnesota winters kick the ass outta everyone else’s winters.

Hmm. What if we stormed Cheney’s bunker, stocked it with wine and Cheetos and Twizzlers and hibernated like bears? With an entire year’s worth of People magazines at the ready?

Next winter, eh mate? Uff da!


Maggie S. April 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm

That kind of makes me queasy. Long story, but it makes me think of the smell of blood.


Barbara April 6, 2013 at 7:31 am

Skiing I managed, barely. Snowboarding wasn’t around when I lived in Michigan. Perhaps I should be thankful for that. I really didn’t even like skiing, but agree about the instructors. Mine was Stein Eriksen. Do you believe??!! (I bet you don’t know who that is. :) )


TKW April 6, 2013 at 8:00 am

I don’t know but of course I’m gonna google it. Even the name sounds sexy!


Alison April 8, 2013 at 6:18 am

Texans don’t do winter, hah!

My husband is Aussie. Ahem.


faemom April 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Yup, let’s put this on the list of Yet Another Reason to Hate Winter.


Tiffany April 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

You are way braver than me. And you got a minor concussion as your thanks. Damn.


ayala April 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

This is great, love it. i also love the comment from your dad :)


TKW April 11, 2013 at 10:47 am


Thank you. Isn’t my Daddy-o the best? xoxo


elizabeth April 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

See, this is why I have very little interest in skiing or boarding–you get to spend a considerable amount of time and money for the (for me, very likely) privilege of making a complete ass of yourself. At least you were able to get a hilarious story out of this, though!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: