So I realize that as of late you’ve been getting mere crumbs here at Peevish. I’ve been holding out on you, keeping a bit of a secret this winter. You might know about it if you read the beef jerky recipe, but I realize that dehydrated meat is kind of a niche interest and I won’t take it personally if you didn’t. You see, along with my other New Year’s resolutions , I also promised myself I would learn how to snowboard this winter. Except, unlike those other resolutions, this was a promise I made to myself with quaking knees and more than a little trepidation. Frankly, I hadn’t learned a new trick in a really long time and I was scared. I was scared I would get hurt, scared I would fail, scared I’d be driving myself home from my first lesson with snow down my pants and my tail between my legs. That’s why I didn’t want to write about it. I didn’t want to jinx it. I didn’t want to widen the audience that would be privvy to my totally sucking.
But I did it. I learned. Every time I go out, I get better. I can honestly say it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I am really proud of myself – like puff out my chest and strut my tail feathers proud – make the sign of the horns and yell AWWWWWHAAA proud. Law school, babies, knee surgery, you name it – I am most proud of myself for learning how to snowboard. It was as much a mental game as a physical one for me, especially at first. Every time I drove to the hill, my heart pounded in my chest and a repeating loop of Wile E. Coyote-esque crashes and wipe-outs played out in my head. Every time I slid off the chairlift for my first run of the day, I was convinced the snow was slipperier than the last time, that the trees were jumping around, trying, just trying to take me out. And don’t even get me started on the freaking children – whole hoards of school kids littering the hill, getting in my way and generally causing me to eeek and panic at every turn.
But here’s what I learned: I learned that if you tell your crazy brain to fuck off and just keep going, your body miraculously starts to do the right thing. By some magic stored deep in our muscles and nerves, it starts to stick, it starts to work. Now I go around the kids if I have to. I dig the slippery snow. I have a renewed faith in my physical self. In the past, I’ve written about going from feeling invincible as a girl to utterly betrayed when I blew out my knee at 17. I don’t think I ever really recovered from that. I have been walking through this world carefully, defensively – but no more. Snowboarding is empowering and exciting and it’s all mine. I did it. I did it! Me!
Here’s what else I learned: It’s frigging fun to go fast on your own juice. To skiers and snowboarders, wake boarders, kite boarders, surfers and all those other ers out there, this is a ridiculously obvious statement. But when is the last time I went fast? On my bike? It’s fun, but not like this. People, there is NOTHING like carving down a hill. NOTHING like it. Goddamn! It makes me want to yell profanities and pump my fist in the air. It turns out that buried in the body of this 40 year old woman lives a randy 15 year old boy. Hossing down chicken fingers covered in ketchup and Cholula hot sauce in the car after snowboarding = TOTAL BLISS. For real.
And here’s yet another thing I learned: You never know when you’re going to make a friend. When I took my lessons at the beginning of January, I never considered that I might meet someone. But I did. Her name is Shreddy Betty. She’s a mom of two boys, one tough cookie, a bit of a danger grrrl and as crazy about our new little hobby as I am. We make plans by text and meet up after the kids have gone to school to play on the slopes. We call each other dude and pump fists after a good run and laugh and laugh. We laugh a lot. Because what’s not funny about snowboarding mommies? We both bought boards a few weeks ago and are figuring out how to tame these spirited fillies, so much faster and more sensitive than the rental beasts we were riding before. It’s always a blast and we’ve been out in some crazy-ass weather: 10 degrees below with the windchill, but as sunny as a lemon ice pop one day; 35 sweltering degrees that turned the snow into quick sand and a pile of laughs the next.
So there you have it, the reason for the crumbs. Even on the days when I woke up frothy to write, I’d come back from snowboarding feeling completely sated and quiet. And I just couldn’t find the words to write about my biggest news. I was too freaked, too blown away, too smitten.
It’s fun, man. So much fun.