Whoever said this was a good idea?! - First Extreme Sports Experience
The feeling of the rush when all of the quietness around turns into zooming sounds. When the stable earth beneath my feet starts feeling like a frictionless treadmill. The unique feeling of staying grounded but at the same time flying. I have never had such an exhilerating experience. For the short moment that I wasn't on my cold bum, I was free of worries and there wasn't a single thought in the world that laid its weigh on my shoulder.
I am beginning to understand why extreme sports are so wildly popular. The adrenaline rush quickly turns addictive. I feel like the slopes are calling me. I want to go there again. Even when my first experience was painful and rather embarassing. I still can't get over how exciting the whole experience was.
It was spur of the moment, the decision to go snowboarding. All the pressing thoughts about the rumors of a growing war have become to heavy to carry. Living just a leap away from the border isn't helping either. I tried talking to others, memes, jokes, meditation through excercise, pushing myself at work, but the thoughts resurface like a a rubber duck. So I said "fuck it, whats the worse that can happen?".
Looking back, it could have been my subconcious pushing me to start striking things off the bucketlist. Who in the right mind would jump head first into an extreme sport without knowing jack about it? In my defence, I had made a rough mental note about things I should do to be safe and do a few practice runs before I go down any serious slope.
The slopes are well inside the city. Not a long drive at all. There are plenty of places to rent all the gear from. I didn't have anything at all so I had to source everything from seperate shops in the vicinity. Got the helmet, shoes and board from the shops. To really understand how uneducated I am about the sport, you need to know that I spent an awkwardly long time figuring out how to wear the snowboard.
Wow, in Owen Wilson's voice.
Once I got comfortable with the straps I worked on getting a feel for the board. Stood on a plain platform and worked on finding the right balance. Standing still, jumping, tilting, all sorts of that kind. Then I worked on "skating", a crucial skill as per the smartest tool in the world - daddy google. It is basically skating on one foot. Push with the free foot and slide on the board. Small and short slides. Helps getting a feel, finding balance, getting the body accustomed to snowboarding, and really important when getting off the lift.
Googling was the right idea, I should have done a lot more of that. But I didn't, did I? Or else I would have known about the basic heel-toe slide and the toe-heel slide. Basic skills that I only googled after coming home. I saw a lot of people doing it and I thought it was the snowboard equivalent of a "tired rave dance."
Off I went! Down the slope!
Body mass centered and lowered. Hips bent, knees bent...arms are heavy...mom's spaghetti?...
There was about 3 seconds of glory before my first tumble. The sequence of events continued 2 more times. A few seconds of sloppy glory followed by grandiose tumbling. The final tumble was pretty bad. I had gained a lot speed and crashed just as fast. Good thing I had my helmet on, but my right hand and shoulder caught a beating. Eventially, I had to unbuckle the board and crawl to the sides where I rested for a good 10 minutes before ascending the slope.
Among the more superficial injuries I sustained some scracthes and bruising on my right fingers. It turned black and blue. I wanted to make sure that the blood didn't accumulate in there for too long or they'd turn colder faster than usual. The major injury I sustained was to my knee and right shoulder. I have to be honest, I thought I dislocated the right shoulder. The pain was sharp and I couldn'y move my shoulder for some time. That is the main reason I sat on the side of the slope for a few minutes.
But all is good. I just have a bad muscle pain. Nothing to worry about. Now I am home and my shoulder ache hasn't gotten much better. I say 3-4 days before I get a full recovery. Still, the experience was exhilerating. The most exciting thing I have done in years. I want to go back again and again. Learning something new every visit. Truly, one of the most memorable day of my life.