In the beginning, snowboarding was just something that looked cool. I had heard about it because of my favorite movie Out Cold. I didn’t know anything about pro’s, I didn’t even know that it was something you could compete in. When my family moved to Buffalo Minnesota I met my friend Laura whom did snowboard. A couple years later after getting our licenses, we had the freedom to go out to the slopes. This is where my whole life adventure truly begins, though at the time I had no idea.
Laura (the bride), Courtney (right) and I (left) head out to Powder Ridge for a late night special where lift tickets at the time were only $10 on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Powder, as we call it, is a small ski AND snowboard hill located in Kimbal Minnesota. With 12 runs, it’s a great place for beginners since it’s not super crowded.
This is may be the third time I’ve gotten out and I just bought my own setup from Zumiez. An all Roxy setup with a 147cm camber board. Tonight my goal is to keep up with the other girls which presented, at the time, quite a challenge. I love a challenge as I have always had a competitive side.
Finally I have gotten to the point where I don’t fall on my butt each time I get off the lift, woohoo! My mind has a tendency to ramble at times, “Alright, now I’ve figured this out. I can turn a little..I can stop without a problem…Okay, lets do this.” While my confidence is building I’m discovering a habit that I like being on my toes much better than my heels, must be the dancer in me. With the new found confidence and I am beginning to gain speed.
Laura continues to coach and give me from downhill. With my new found speed I tend to pass her on the right since I like to ride on my toes about halfway down the slope. I’m riding fairly smoothly now so Laura and I decide to hit a green slope with a longer ride. We strap in, let’s go! I let her start before me since she likes to take runs at a slower pace and now that I’ve figured this out I am ready for speed.
Suddenly I’m beginning prepare myself for a hard landing…
My board, pointing down the slope goes straight under Laura’s. Suddenly I’m in the air and all I can think about is, “okay, I’m going to land on my nose. How can I land to get the least amount of blood on my jacket….”. I loved that jacket, I didn’t want it to stain!
Have you ever realized how slow time moves when your falling like that? What took less than a minute felt like ten.
I landed smack on my face and quickly dug my elbows into the snow to scoot myself forward. I wanted minimal blood on my jacket and succeeded with only a few drops! Thankfully, I wear a handkerchief when I snowboard so I was able to use that to hold my nose and stop the bleeding. Once I regain composure I turned around to find Laura clutching her shoulder. She had tumbled pretty hard quite a few times apparently.
We suck it up and board down the rest of the slope to go hit up the medic. Laura ends up in a sling and I found out I didn’t break my nose at least. Shocking, really. Thankfully we have Courtney there to drive us home.
In the end I ended up with an hour and a half nose bleed and Laura tore two ligaments in her shoulder. This experience gave us a great story that we still laugh about today. Courtney, the other friend who was with us witnessed the whole thing and captured it on film with a disposable camera. Unfortunately she only caught the aftermath and those photos are printed in a box somewhere. If I ever find them I will be sure to share! For sake of photos however, check out these gems scanned in.
Through snowboarding I have learned to make your falls count so you have a good story! Okay, but for real you learn best by failing. Whether that be snowboarding or other life choices, when we fail we also learn to succeed. I have also learned that you create amazing friendships through this sport, hence the wedding photo at the beginning!
Feature photo by Christa Reed Photography