Saturday, March 7, 2015

Snowboarding and the killer lift

I've been downhill skiing for years and I was pretty good at it. (I don't mean that to sound braggy in any way. I just had years of practice and no one to teach me how to stop. My idea of skiing was to point my skis downhill and hang on for dear life until I reached the bottom.) I had fun skiing, and then one day Ryan and my cousin Daviyd decided it was time I learned how to snowboard like them and my other cousin Tia. 

There were times on skis when I thought I was going to die, on the snowboard I was convinced of it, but they wouldn't let me give up. I kept working at it and over the past three years I got better and better. 

We go up about three times a year. This year the first trip up I was trying out boots which were too big for me and had a slight leg injury. However, I finally figured the turns out so I was excited for our next trip, doubly so when I found boots which fit me. I felt ready, I'd even learned a way to get off the lift without wrenching my arms and legs by crashing. I figured out how to curl up on my snowboard and ride it down the little hill like a sled. Might not look cool, as snowboarding is meant to be, but it made me feel like Captain America hiding full body behind his shield. And it didn't hurt, so I didn't mind the uncoolness factor.

Our second snowboard trip up I was more excited than any other time I've gone. I thought I had everything prepared. Boots. A way off the lift. Skill to turn without falling backwards and smacking my head. I eagerly boarded the lift, and just as eagerly got off - and promptly crashed.

I didn't let the first crash bother me. One crash getting off is okay - and when my brother and cousins and I keep stock of how many times we crash on the mountain we don't count crashes off the lift. That and the snow was fresh, my board had caught in the powder and stuck, which had thrown me off. I was sure I'd be able to slid down on my board on my second trip and I went down the mountain, loving my new boots and turning ability.

My second trip up I was grinning. I finally felt like a snowboarder. And then I reached the top of the mountain, didn't get off the lift in time, and had to ride it around and then crawl off it.

Again I didn't let that bother me. I'd gotten stuck on it once before. It happens. I would get it next time I told myself.

Third time was no better. I think on my forth I got it and was pleased. I was sure I had it. I remembered the position I needed to get off, how to keep low and just slide.

Fifth time was another crash only worse than the others. I think I closed my eyes, all I know is I banged up both my elbow and knee and had to limp over to Tia and Daviyd. 

By this point I was certain the lift was out to kill me. I hadn't crashed that badly since first getting on a board. But I didn't let it bother me too much even then. I was doing great going DOWN the mountain.

About this time we stopped for lunch. I was feeling more sure of my boarding by then and decided after lunch I was going to try out one of the harder slopes. One I loved doing on my skis but hadn't done on a board yet.

All the way up the lift I prepared for my ride down one of the easier black hills. That is when the lift decided it was time to just get the attempted murders over with.

I was prepared for my sled down the little hill, but mistimed my exit and left the lift too soon. I hit the ground but wasn't out of the way of the lift. I've done this before, having to throw myself flat so the chair passes over me, but this time I landed at a bad angle and couldn't get down in time. The seat of the chair hit my knee, then the lower bar got my elbow.

At the time my knee hurt more than my elbow. I crawled down the hill and drug myself over to my cousins. Daviyd had seen the tail end of the attempted murder and asked if I was okay. I didn't feel like it but as time passed so did the pain in my knee. I didn't think it was too bad and went down the mountain. It wasn't until I was heading down that I realized I'd gotten my elbow worse than I'd first thought.
It didn't help that I crashed going down and landed on the banged up elbow.

In pain, I finally reached the bottom and took a break. I didn't want to quit. since we only go three times, and I was finally getting the hang of it. However, I feared if I didn't rest for a minute or two I'd only make my elbow worse.

I did go up again, and again I crashed. I think I tried it one more time before calling it quits. In the end I came away with two bruised knees and a badly bruised elbow. (I'm still not entirely convinced that I didn't slightly crack something.) 

My elbow is taking its time healing. Everything else is great and all the bruises are gone, but we're going up again next Friday. I can only hope the lift will have picked someone else to try and murder and will leave me alone.

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