Digging Snowboarding

We went back to Liberty for the first time this season. It only had a few green and blue trails. I spent four hours on the bunny slope and the green trail to learn snowboarding. I figured out how to do the toe turn. Even though I still caught the edges occasionally, I was able to put together the “S” turn.

Snowboarding is started to click. My next goal is to make my “S” turns narrower and link my turns smoother. I still have a lot to learn, but I am starting to dig snowboarding. Of course I won’t give up skiing. I still love skiing, but I just want to challenge myself with snowboarding.

Our Last Night in Vermont

We didn’t hit the slopes today because it had rained all day. After skiing for five days straight, we needed a day off to rest and relax before heading back home tomorrow.

Yesterday, Đạo asked his mom and me what was the best vacation we ever had. My wife couldn’t come up with anything at the moment, and I told him, “This is it.” I was having the best time of life enjoying the winter sports and hanging around my love ones. What more could I ask for? I treasured the time we spent together because no one knew how long we could stay on this earth. I don’t want to wait until my clock runs out. I want to take advantage of the time I have with my family. I love my wife and kids too much.

I hope they enjoyed their time with me as well. Anyway, here’s a short video of our trip at Okemo.

My Legs Gave Out

During my snowboarding lesson yesterday, I fell and almost twisted my right knee. Later into the night I could barely lift up my leg without feeling the sharp pain. I thought I won’t be able to ski today. When I woke up this morning, I still felt the pain, but I determined to hit the slopes to ski with my little Vương.

Today, the boys and I went all the way to the top of the mountain. I wanted to take Vương all around the green slopes. We did fine for a bit and then took the shortcut to the blue slope to get back down to the base. It was a big mistake. Vương got a little scared even though I held on to him the whole time. Skiing on the blue slope with a toddler was quite a challenge, but we made it back down with just one fall.

After lunch, I left Vương with his mom and the rest of us went back to the black slopes. After five days straight on the slopes, I could feel the pain. I was exhausted and my legs gave out. And yet, the pain on my knee has subsided without any painkillers or patches. We managed to do two runs before the lift closed out.

All-day rain is forecast for tomorrow. We might just stay in and rest up before heading back home on Saturday. We’ll see.

Snowboarding Lessons

Xuân and I took snowboarding lessons today. We signed up for a whole-day group lesson, but Xuân was the only student in his group and I along with another girl in our group. The instructor took us on the green slope just after 45 minutes on the bunny slope. We fell like crazy.

I got my heel turns down, but still had trouble with my knee turns. Once I get my knee turns down, I can link them together. I need more time to practice before everything would click together. Snowboarding is much more challenging to learn than ski. I haven’t given up yet.

I am hoping I won’t be in so much pain tomorrow so I can ski together with little Vương. Poor kid wanted to ski with me today, but I had to take snowboard lessons and I was wiped out afterward. I’ll make it up to him tomorrow.

Skiing with Vương

On Tuesday, I spent almost the whole day on the slope with Vương. He enjoyed skiing together with me. I still had to hold on to him, but I figured out a way for him to be less dependent on me. I just hold the handle on the harness gently to give him more control of his skis. We were planning on signing him up for lessons, but he was not ready. For now, we just ski and spend time together.

Đạo took my snowboard and gave it a try. He did really well. He joined us on the green slope even though he just started it. It looked like skateboarding helped him with snowboarding. If I can’t learn to snowboard, he can take over my board and boots.

For the last hour before the lift closed, I took Đán and Xuân on the blue and black slopes. We ventured into the black, ungroomed terrains. There were moguls and rocks everywhere. We made our way down and out, but my ski bases were scratched up. I will need to patch them up when I get back home.

First Skiing Week of the Season at Okemo

We arrived in Vermont on Saturday night; therefore, we slept in a bit. We didn’t get to Okemo until 10 am on Sunday. Somehow I thought the World Cup final was scheduled for 2 pm instead of 10 am. I missed the whole game. Oh well, congratulations to Argentina nevertheless.

Okemo was not as crowded as I had expected on a Sunday. The World Cup might be the reason. Đạo, Đán, Xuân and I did two runs on the blue and black slopes. I skied with Vương on the green slopes. He wanted me to hold him instead of using the harness. Đán complained his pair of snowboard boots was too tight. He used mine instead.

On Monday, we didn’t get to the resort until 11 am. I took Vương for a run on the green slope so my wife could practice a bit on the bunny slope. Vương was hungry and wanted to eat. I took him in and made him an instant noodle cup. I did one more run with him before I headed to the blue and black slopes with my older boys.

Đán wouldn’t give up my snowboard boots; therefore, I won’t be able to learn snowboarding this week. I am just going to enjoy skiing for now. I’ll learn how to snowboard when we come back home.

We were having a great time even though we were exhausted by the evening.

I am Beat

After taking my oldest son to school yesterday, I headed straight to Bryce Resort. I was the first person there and only a few more showed up afterward. I strapped on my snowboard and hit the absolute beginner magic carpet. I kept falling off at the end of the bell. I switched to my goofy stance and it seemed to be better. I learned to skate with one foot first.

My lesson plan was to learn the heel and toe brakes, but it didn’t turn out that way. The board didn’t go straight down for me to learn to brake. So I had to go wherever the board took me. I fell quite a bit the first two hours. I switched to skiing. I had new skis and boots. The boots killed my feet. I need to get them molded.

I went back to snowboarding in the afternoon. I started to get the link turns using Malcom Moore’s lever techniques. I left the resort around 2:30 pm because I was completely beat. Even though I fell on my butt a lot, my butt was not in pain thanks to Bodyprox protective padded shorts. The shoulders and my knees were so painful afterward. I couldn’t do much else for the rest of the night.

The Snowboard Challenge

This past Wednesday was my last day at work for 2022. I won’t be back to work until January 9, 2023. Yesterday was my mother’s second death anniversary. I spent the day quietly praying and remembering her. Last night I had trouble sleeping; therefore; I cancelled my snowboarding plan at Bryce Resort. After taking Đạo, my oldest son, to school, I drove back home trying to catch some sleep. I woke up around 10 am and watched the World Cup on Telemundo.

We will be taking a skiing trip in Vermont next Saturday at Okemo Ski Resort, but I wanted to hit the slopes early to test out the techniques I have been learning in my basement. I recently discovered Malcolm Moore’s YouTube Channel. His lever technique seems promising. I also wanted to apply his ski-pole drill. I am hopeful that I will be able to learn snowboarding on my own this season. My goal is to brake on my toes and heels and to link turns. I might take a trip to Bryce on Monday to give snowboarding a shot.

It would be fun to be able to switch from skiing to snowboarding and vice versa. We’ll see how the snowboarding challenge goes.

Enjoying the New Wakefield Skatepark

Xuân and I spent two and a half hours at Wakefield skatepark on a Sunday evening. The weather was cold, but we both sweated out. He scooted alone before joining the scooter squad around his age. I dropped in and pumped out of the bowl when no one was around and rode up and down the quarter pipe when it was available.

I learned from Xuân to just enjoy myself. I focused on my own comfort level rather than trying to push myself. I am getting too old to take risks. I don’t have to prove to myself or anyone else. I am content with not dropping in from the deep part of the bowl, but riding to the top as far as I could and turning around. I am taking one step at a time. I improve slowly, which is fine with me. I blade for fun and fitness, not for competition and recognition.

As the winter is approaching, I am getting ready to pack up my rollerblades and to pick up my skis and snowboard. I have been practicing snowboarding at home in my basement. I am getting used to my Capita Indoor Survival 156 snowboard with Flow Flite 5 (M) bindings (size large). I am glad I paid $20 for them.

I hope my pre-season training efforts will prepare me for snowboarding. If I won’t be able to learn snowboarding this season, I will focus all of my efforts on skiing. I can hardly wait to hit the slopes.

Check out a video of Đán blading at Wakefield and various clips of bikers, rollerbladers, scooters, and skateboarders I have filmed.

Skating at the Newly Renovated Wakefield Skatepark

In recent months, Xuân has asked me to take him to the skatepark everyday. Of course, I comply. Đạo and Đán aren’t too happy about it. They would only join us if they get boba tea afterward. The main reason I want them to go to the skatepark is to do some outdoor activities instead of sitting around with their digital devices. The skatepark is a great place for that.

The newly renovated Wakefield skatepark (cost $1.5 millions of taxpayer money) is always crowded. Nevertheless, Xuân just rides around and enjoys himself. He focuses on his own development and progresses at his own pace. He is not intimidated by anyone else. Observing him riding his scooter in his orange jacket is like watching Nemo swimming in the sea of skaters. The orange jacket helps prevent other people from crashing into him. In addition to scooting alone, he makes friends with other scooters. They are all around the same age. It’s a nice bond at the skatepark.

Even as someone who is socially awkward, I have made a few rollerblading friends. Unlike Xuân, I get intimidated by other advanced skaters. Luckily, there aren’t too many rollerbladers around. I only see them once in a while. Of course, I try to focus on my own skills, but I often get distracted by other bladers. I am taking the clue from Xuân to just enjoy myself.

Out of our crew, Đán advances the fastest. His balance and his fearlessness allow him to pick up new techniques with ease. His lack of focus, however, holds him back. He would rather sit at home, work on his PC, and play video games. It is getting to the point where that’s where he focuses his attention on. I already warned him that I will have no problem confiscating his desktop if that’s all he spends his time on.

Đạo would rather spend time on his laptop too, but he knows that he needs to get out of the house to avoid getting banned from screen time. He is a careful rollerblader. He takes his time to hone his skills. He makes steady progress. He has surpassed me in rollerblading, but he is now trying out skateboarding. Of course, trying out something new is always encouraged. I can’t wait to see where he goes with it.