I guess I never really did tell everyone about my first ski/snowboard trip I went on two weeks ago. I have a good buddy who is quite the snowboard enthusiast. We chat almost every day and are in community group together. It was Wednesday and I was talking about taking a little vacation with a small portion of my tax return. I had mentioned a ski trip for the first time. He said he was thinking about taking his yearly trip to Hidden Valley soon. We looked at the calendar and realized if it wasn’t that weekend, it wouldn’t be for a long time. So I called up some people to cover my church responsibilities and plans were set. This was a few days after the ice storm, but we called the lodge and they said it was all snow.

I’m a planner so this was quietly freaking me out a little. Daniel could sense it some but was very kind about it. He let me borrow snow gear and a board. And off we went Saturday morning. We picked up an old school friend of his named Nick in Memphis, then headed north. It was about a 6.5 hour drive. We got there around 3:00 pm to a packed parking lot and 40-50 degree temperature. I had to rent boots and we had a brief scare when a sign said they were out of my size. But just as we walked in, a pair was available.

The first snowboard lesson wasn’t until 5:00. So Daniel and Nick graciously showed me some very beginner stuff, but eventually I told them not to waste all their time on me. The lesson was good…they taught how to turn and lean on your heels and toes. After the lesson, Daniel stopped by and saw my “progress” and gave some pointers. They were spot on because my turns started getting better immediately.

After 10:00 or so, I’m still slowly working up and down the beginner hill. Still can’t stop without purposefully falling to do so. I’m going up the tow rope and ahead of me is a skier. They tell you to get out of the way if you fall off the rope, but she doesn’t and I have to let go and crash in order to keep from colliding with her. Jacked up my wrist in doing so, which ended my night. My tailbone was pretty dang sore by that point too.

We hit the hotel room and pretty much fell asleep on the spot. Denny’s for breakfast the next morning, then hit the park again. At this point, it is taking a lot of mental encouragement to keep struggling through beginner pains. The guys show me (and explain the need for) sliding down the hill with the board perpendicular. This slows the descent and was the first step in learning to stop without having to fall down. Work on that for a few hours (lol) and I’m starting to get okay at it. But falls still occur. Well, I’m scared about my wrist so I’m purposefully falling a different way…which leads to me tweaking my shoulder. Didn’t think anything of it because it really didn’t hurt that bad. Breaks come more frequently today as every muscle in my body (even ones not used directly in snowboarding) begin to protest. By 3:00 pm, an hour before we needed to leave, I was done. I had started at the top of the beginner slope, came around the area by the lodge, and down another beginner slope (think a big L shape) and stopped without falling. Wanted to end on a good note.

The ride back was pretty uncomfortable and I moved stiffly for two days, but it was all worth it. I’m grateful to Daniel and Nick for the experience and great time. Can’t wait to do it again.

P.S. The extent of my shoulder tweak wasn’t known to me until I was lifting heavy equipment on Thursday to clear the stage at church and I jacked it up. Still dealing with that, but I say it was and is all worth it. 🙂


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