February 12, 2006

Fresh air and sunshine

When my daughter and I arrived today for our sixth and final snowboard lesson, Blue-eyed Instructor noticed my new snowboard immediately. "You bought a snowboard! You have gear! This means you are committed!"

He was so enthusiastic about my purchase, examining the board, checking it for flexibility, and pronouncing it perfect, that I could not help smiling. I recognized his enthusiasm, of course, because I am a teacher myself. It's always wonderful when your student not only learns the basics of what you are teaching, but catches your love of what you are doing. I feel that way when a student stops by my office to tell me she went to a poetry reading or talks to me about a book he read over the summer.

I'd had a miserable night, waking from a nightmare and unable to sleep, and an even more miserable morning, getting up to find that one of our cats had climbed into the open drawer of good ski socks and was peeing on them, an event that I did not handle with grace or humor. But the weather conditions at the ski slope were just perfect: lots of snow and temperatures in the high 20s. And the company was perfect: Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter can change my mood with just her presence.

What a difference from our first lesson. We both were flying smoothly down the slope, carving back and forth, turning with pretty good control, able even to maneuver around the clumps of beginner skiers who make the mountain an obstacle course. Our dismounts from the chair lift were not exactly perfect – we stand too close together getting off and tend to run into each other, which often means we end up in a tangled heap – but still we felt like confident, competent boarders.

"I told you!" Blue-eyed Instructor kept saying. He was as happy and triumphant as we were.

At lunch time, we had cake with the whole gang to celebrate Blonde Niece's birthday, and then spent the afternoon snowboarding some more, showing off our skills to the rest of the family. What I love most about learning a new sport is that it leaves me no time to think. Concentrating on what my body is doing – bend the knees, keep weight forward, drop the shoulder – leaves no room in my head for any melancholy thoughts. Riding up in the chairlift with my daughter, just talking about stuff and admiring the way the sun was shining on the whole snow-covered mountain, was a wonderful break between runs.

Tonight I am physically exhausted from a day spent outside in the fresh air. And that means tonight I will sleep well.

11 comments:

Friday Mom said...

Sounds like a great day, inspite of the beginning the cat offered. Damn cat here peed on my side of the bed Friday morning! No grace or humor from me either.

Kyra said...

I'm excited for you, too! I love snowboarding, and haven't gone back to skiing since I started (15 yrs. ago...) Congrats!

peripateticpolarbear said...

I am so sorry about the peeing cat! Why would she pick your drawer of SKI socks of all things? I'm glad that the day redeemed itself!

Yankee T said...

OK, this is the second cat pee post I've read today. Something in the air, maybe?

Hope you sleep. You deserve it.

Bitty said...

There's a lesson here, and I may even learn it eventually. It's this: it's possible to change our lives in a positive way in a very short time.

What are we (am I) waiting for?

mc said...

Congrats on your snowboarding prowess! I thought of you last night while watching the half-pipe competition on the Olympics -- it's totally impressive that you're doing this!

jo(e) said...

MC: Okay, if you are watching the half-pipe competition at the Olympics, you may have a slightly exaggerated version of what I am doing on Sundays ....

EmmaNadine said...

You totally make me want to learn to snowboard. Considering I live less than an hour from several ski slopes, and don't even know how to ski, maybe I'll just head straight to snowboarding.

Friday Mom said...

Speaking of the Olympics... maybe now that you're a snowboard expert you can help solve my great mystery from last night.

The pants the snowboarders wear seem to fall down around their butts while they are competing. 1) is this helpful and necessary to be a good snowboarder?, and 2) isn't it wildly distracting to be in the middle of an inverted 1080 loopdy-loop with lots of "air" knowing that when you land your pants may end up around your ankles?

I'm just wondering....

jo(e) said...

Friday Mom: Oh, but sagging adds that extra challenge to snowboarding.

apstraight said...

I logged on just to ask about the sagging pants myself- and now I see I am not the only one asking the question---

And... there is nothing more disconcerting that being woken up by a cat peeing on your bed.

Glad that your day got better and better-

Thank you-