I spent three weekdays alone skiing and snowboarding at Seven Springs. When I was skiing and sharing a lift with other skiers, I would ask them if they snowboarded too. In contrast, when I was snowboarding, I would ask other snowboarders if they skied as well. The general consensus was that skiers felt snowboarding was hard and snowboarders felt skiing was uncool. As for me, I enjoy both sports and split my time in half on the slopes.
I started out skiing four seasons ago at the age of 40—better late than never. I didn’t want to try because the price tag was enormous, but my wife bought me the whole package (lift ticket, rental, and a two-hour lesson) and made me learn to ski with my boys. I took a lesson and skied straight down the bunny slope for the first time without crashing into anyone. I was hooked.
Three seasons ago, I wanted to try snowboarding. I took a semi-private lesson with one of my second son who wanted to switch from skiing to snowboarding. As a natural snowboarder, he picked up it right away. I fell trying to get on the magic carpet, landed my hand inside the edge of the conveyor belt, and bruised my left thumb. I was not sure where I stuck my finger into, but I had a feeling it might be one of the pulleys. Luckily, my finger didn’t get chopped off. I put snowboarding away and focused on skiing for the rest of the season.
Last season, I determined to challenge myself once again trying to learn snowboarding. I took another group lesson. I fell repeatedly and miserably. The instructor said it would take three days of falling in order to learn how to snowboard. I fell for about ten days straight before I could figure out how not to catch an edge. To this day, I continue to fall occasionally, but I have beat the challenge.
I am not an advanced skier or snowboarder, but I have come to understand the concept of both sports. Even though they share the slopes and the terrains, skiing and snowboarding are two worlds apart. Learning each sport has given me a whole new perspective on how relationships worked.
Skiing is a marriage between my left and right foot. Even though I strap on each foot individually, my feet have to work together in parallel. Whether I skid or carve down the trails, my inside foot has to follow my outside foot in order for me to make a smooth turn. As in life, a couple has to be on the same path for a marriage to work. One cannot leave the other behind and both have to take turns to lead.
Snowboarding is a sibling between my left and right foot. Even though I strap them onto the same board, they have to do their own part in order to create a smooth ride. I learned this concept the hard way. When I tried to make them work together, I ended up catching the edges and fell on my behind or flat on my face. I had to learn to separate them so they could hold up their end of the bargain. Once I figured out each individual role, I could carve or short turn my way down any trails. As siblings, they are bounded by the same mother board, but they have their own role to play to keep the family together.
I am so glad that I have picked up these two snowsports. They not only opened up a whole new world for me on the mountains, but also opened up my eyes in life. I hope to continue to play both sports for many years to come.