Two planker

When I was 18, I decided to learn to snowboard. Back in the 90’s, snowboarding wasn’t a popular sport. This was when nobody wore a helmet, and baggy snowboarding pants were hard to come by.

From the moment I got on a board, I fell in love with it. I spent countless hours falling and climbing back up, until I finally learned the balance. The feeling of freedom and wind on my face is addictive. Over the years, I got better and faster. I loved it more. The downside is, I tend to get pretty bashed up when I do fall.

Now that I’m almost 40, I have finally admitted to myself that perhaps it’s time to start preserving this rack of old bones. And timing worked out well that Josh started learning to ski this year, so I figured it’s time for me to hang up the snowboard, and learn to ski.

I am actually having fun learning to ski. It is such a civilized sport. As a snowboarder, I spent a lot of time on my butt, trying to get my bindings done up. As a skier, I can ski right off the chair lift and be ready to go.

Skiing with Josh is a lot of fun. He can pretty well keep up behind me. Skiing with Savanna is completely different–it’s actually good for me. I hold her between my legs and ski down together. It forces me to stay low and make wider turns, actually focusing more on my own technique.

I still go snowboarding, and still love it as much as I did the first day. I hope one day to be able to ski as fast as I can snowboard.

Skis

 

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Day 57/365 {Cypress}

Angela Chang Photography Day 57 of 365Once upon a time, I was a snowboard bum.  I skipped classes based on the snow condition at Cypress.  I scraped together money to pay for lift tickets.  In the winter, my face had a permanent racoon pattern from sunburn with goggles on. I dreamed of snowboarding all day long.

Today, to celebrate the last day of my unemployment, I went riding at Cypress.  At one point I sat on the snow, taking in the view of Vancouver, and pondered about life.  Well, not so much pondering about life, but more being amazed by how much things have changed. When I started snowboarding, I was 18 or 19.  I was a student, had no money, without a care in the world.  Now I can barely reach down to strap my bindings because of my old bones and belly fat.  Some days I forget that I’m approaching 40 and have a family and a big fat mortgage and real responsibilities.

I’m not one to take selfies.  Today, I felt like I should take one so I can remember this stage of my life.

 

“Me” time

Two years ago, I was pregnant with Joshua in the winter.  Last winter, Joshua was so little that I didn’t want to leave him for more than a couple of hours at a time.  So it’s been two years since I’ve been snowboarding.  But a few weeks ago, I made plans with a friend to hit the slopes on Sunday.  As luck would have it, the weather was outrageously gorgeous and mild on Sunday!

Snowboarding is something I absolutely loved since I was 19.  Before Joshua came along, I looked forward to winter and hitting the slopes as many times as I can.  I dreamed of snow, of mountain, and of being a ski bum.  But on Sunday, I felt like I was being so selfish by going to do something for myself.  I would be gone for 5 hours.  That’s 5 hours I could have spent with Joshua.  I really struggled with wanting to go snowboarding, and wanting to just stay home with him at the same time.

When I left that morning, I heard Joshua cry behind the closed door.  I’m sure he recovered within 10 seconds after I left.  But I just tormented myself with the thought that I’m being a bad mother.  On the entire drive up Cypress, I kept beating myself up inside.

The weather was so mild and so beautiful.  When we got to the top of the chair lift, we had the view of the ocean, mountains, and the city.  We took an easy green run for me to warm up.  The wind whistled by my ears as we carved and turned in the snow down the hill.  I felt so alive.  I was reminded of how much I truly loved snowboarding.

At that moment, I decided that I need to stop feeling guilty.  I think that ultimately, I would really prefer that Joshua grows up understanding that I go snowboarding because it’s something I enjoy.  I obviously can’t spend all my free time snowboarding like I used to, but I do need to do things I love because it makes life more interesting.  With that in mind, I ditched all the guilty thoughts and allowed myself to have a good time.

It was so nice to just ride and hang out with my friend.  We got about 6 or 7 runs in the morning, had a quick lunch, and did another 4 runs after that.  Towards the end my legs were just burning from using muscles I haven’t used in so long.  My face was wind burnt, my back ached, and it was such a blast!

I think it was great for me to have some “me” time on the slopes.  I got home in time to take a snooze with Joshua before we headed out for our evening dinner plans.  He was certainly not traumatized by my absence, and he was his usual cheerful self.  I actually felt like I found some rare balance for a day.