At the start of the year, my friends and I reunited in Reno for a quick weekend getaway in the snow. Most of us hit the slopes at Mt. Rose, and I tried snowboarding for the second time in my life. Unfortunately, whatever skills I may have picked up when I tried snowboarding for the first time as a 10 year old, did not translate the second time around. I was essentially falling–no, face-planting is more accurate of a term–down the mountain. At one point, I flew up and landed on my chest…it was not a pretty site. It was funny though to be failing so hard so many times with all of my closest friends watching. But with each fall on that first run, my determination to just make it down alive (in one piece) grew stronger. And with each fall, the more I laughed at how terrible I was doing–it was better than crying about it. By the time I made it down, I was exhausted and felt so defeated. The score: Mountain-1 Kristin-0.
After that first run, I took a long break. I didn’t want to repeat the horrible experience again and I didn’t want my friends to have to keep waiting for me every time I literally fell behind. But I thought that I should give it another try 1) because I’m not a quitter and 2) the snowboarding gear and lift tickets were effing expensive. The second time around was still pretty bad, but it was better and my body was starting to figure out how to navigate and more importantly, stop without falling so hard on my ass. That being said, my greatest fear wasn’t falling, it was getting on and off the damn ski lift. I’m terrified of heights and I hate being in confined (inescapable) situations, but I wasn’t about to climb up the mountain on foot so I just had to deal with it. On my last run, my friends convinced me to go with them to a higher peak, which required taking two ski lifts. To be honest, that final run was my redemption and I’m so glad that I tried it. I actually made it down with only a few minor falls and most of my run was spent balancing upright like a boss. Plus, it was less crowded on that side of the mountain so it kind of felt like it was just reserved for us. With the sun setting as we reached the bottom on the mountain, it was a peaceful conclusion to a difficult yet exhilarating experience.