Here I am...
Standing in the snow, decked out in matching pants and ski jacket. A smile on my face and a spring in my step. This was a glorious moment.... I've begun my story at the end, lets do this backwards.
5 minutes before this picture was taken I was careening down a slope at a breakneck .02km/hr with my butt end pointing towards the chalet and my head tilted heaven side. cursing under my breath and praising the snowboard instructor charged with keeping me alive.
Rewind the film a little further and there I would be lamely attempting to crab walk down from the top of the run while failing miserably to pull myself into an upright position. In fairness, I have the same problem every morning getting out of bed, these things take planning. I watched E-man rise to his feet like a title wave coming into shore; graceful, effortless and matter of fact. My attempts netted me a bruise the size of a softball on my tail bone. Michael earned his own bruises, I saw it happen.
From the top of the hill things didn't seem like they would go too badly. The very worst was already behind me once I dismounted the chairlift. Really, getting to the top of the hill was a scarier prospect than smashing into a tree on my way down, at least I would be hitting the base of a tree not crashing down on top of one. Tell me my fears are unfounded, have you ever looked at a chair lift? They remind me of my Lula's 3 grade attempt to build a suspension bridge with spaghetti and paper clips. or those 12 pound clip on earrings Gran used to wear; you could literally watch those suckers dangle perilously for an hour and still miss the exact moment they would plop down on to her dinner plate - right into the gravy.
The very fact that I got to the top of the hill in the first place was because of Stephanie, our instructor with a 'leave no man (or scared to death mother of 3) behind approach to teaching. The very sweet girl held my hand and did not push me out of the gondola while I hyperventilated and confessed my terror of heights. I should probably send a thank you note to Stephanie.
It really is too bad that the darned chairlift stood between the safety of the base of the slope and my attempt at snowboarding. I may have tried again despite how badly I sucked at it, the bruised butt and battered humour. I was having a great time after all at the base of the hill, with Stephanie and our class, learning how to walk with the snowboard and steer the snowboard, and how to stop the snowboard. That was fun. Maybe I'm more suited for cross country snowboarding.
In fact I was taking the whole thing in light hearted stride. I even suggested to the rental clerk that I would be leading not with my left or right foot but rather with my butt. which sounded really clever and funny until it actually happened.
At dinner the evening before I almost made my good friend choke on her Shiraz when I announced my snowboarding plans. Everyone understands my fears, everyone understands that climbing out of my comfort zone is not something I am known for. Everyone understands that I am not athletic or brave or adventurous. We are however learning that my fear is diminishing with age, courage is a by-product of my wrinkles and I am willing to do just about anything prove that it is never to late to take control of your life.
Gratitude today that I decided to take a risk, gratitude that between starting and finishing I was terrified, did things backwards and landed on my feet at the end of it all. Gratitude to Stephanie and my other supporters. Gratitude for the ability to cross Snowbaording off my list and never have to do it again!