Thursday, November 16, 2006

It seems that Kara isn't on Blogger anymore, and I'm really bummed. Does anyone know what happened to her?

I am in a torrent of pain. I'm learning to snowboard- I grew up skiing, and tried to teach myself to snowboard a while ago, and haven't been up at all for at least 2 years. I foolishly thought that I would be a lot better than I am. Stephen is teaching me, and he's a wonderful, patient teacher, but the fact about learning to snowboard is that you fall. A lot. Everyone says I'll just get it 'all the sudden', and Stephen really thinks I'm doing well. In the meantime, my entire ass is one big bruise, as well as both my knees.

I fell so many times that the whole day sort of blurred into a constant memory of pain, and being upside down in a swirling vortex of snow, but I remember 2 falls distinctly. Unsurprisingly, they were also my 2 most painful falls, and the 2 falls which caused the largest, uglist bruises.

Let me begin by addressing anyone who may have been boarding at keystone last weekend, and by extension, boarders in general: if you are good enough to ride blue runs, stay OFF the green runs!! I was doing well on my toe edge for the first time and this boarder whipped past me, too close. All I saw was a flash of brown and orange (very retro) as snow flew up in my face. I'm not sure if he actually bumped me or just really surprised me by cutting me off. What I did know was that the ground was no longer underneath me, and then that ground was, very suddenly, in contact with my left hip, and then that the ground was in contact with my knees, and I had finally stopped moving. I think I must have screamed because when I managed to turn myself over, Mr. Trying-to-kill-me was stopped someways off and looking inquisitively at me. He yelled something, and I decided to let it go; I waved, and he continued on (no doubt in search of other unsuspecting beginners).

My second fall happened in a flattish area leading down to a lift, which I was warned about being the worst places for falls, because of the slow speed. I was riding my toe edge, once again feeling fine, and for the first time NOT surrounded by other people. Stephen informed me (as he had a sweet vantage point from slightly up the slope) that I lost my balance, caught my heel edge, and flipped a full turn backwards. I was aware of losing my balance, and the unnatural view of the sky and the trees all skewing sideways and around, and my voice crying out in alarm, as if the sound was coming from somewhere distant. As I fell backwards, I bounced on my tailbone and flipped over again onto my knees, slid aways, and collapsed face-first, sobbing. I would be committing criminal understatement to say that it hurt. Then Stephen was beside me with his hands on my back, speaking indistinct words of comfort and encouragement.

He told me later that he was trying to perfect the art of saying "enough, but not too much", for fear that in an effort to console me he would say something blundering and anger me. After one fall I had snow all under my coat on my back, and he was wiping it off. To try and cheer me up, he pinched my butt. Normally I would receive this as playful, flirtatious behavior and laughingly pinch him back, but Stephen learned quickly that butt-pinching is not an effective tool in cheering up a frustrated, cold, bruised, and angry Rachel. He really was a great teacher, though. I learned that Stephen is a patient exhorter.

I expected to fall, and I expected to suck, and even though it frustrated me, I'm determined to get good. I bought a season pass, dammit! The thing I wasn't prepared for was the throbbing, burning, incapacitating pain that has consumed my body all week and is only just beginning to subside. The next morning I realized that I had worked muscles that I didn't even know I had, and I had worked them hard. I was barely able to shampoo my hair. I almost resorted to asking my sister to help me put my bra on. I couldn't sit comfortably all day. Laughing and sneezing were like spasms of agony. I elbowed Stephen in the face while trying to give him a hug because I couldn't lift my arm any higher. I'm still black and blue in places I'd rather not talk about.

But you know what? I'd still rather be snowboarding than working!


Melissa said...

I don't know what happened to Kara either... real bummer.

The snowboarding sounds painful, but amazing at the same time. What a rush of adrenaline!