My first black diamond

Okay – so Utah has had a positively DISMAL winter (some may disagree with me), with warmer temperatures and minimal snow. However, it snowed a lot in the last couple of weeks and Austin and I went snowboarding again.

If you remember my last couple of posts regarding snowboarding, I am very much an amateur. I’ve wiped out, hurt my back, gotten exhausted easily, and have cried more than Cho Chang in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

(No judgement, Cho. You were going through a hard time.)

But this time? This time it was different.

This time I…

1. Took advantage of my energy

After going on the green for a quick warm-up, I decided to go on a blue. I didn’t think I was good enough, but I figured that I might as well try.

I actually made it down the blue runs several different times without dying! I can’t say without falling because I think I’ll just always fall. I think falling is just a part of the game. But the blues were a lot less crowded than the green, and the snow was softer so the falls were very easy to recover from.

2. Took breaks to extend my energy

Around my third run, I started falling more and couldn’t figure out why. And falling a lot is EXHAUSTING. There’s the impact and getting UP and trying to build momentum but also maintain control…it’s tiring.

I finally realized that I was tired. And so when I finished my third run, I went into the lodge and hung out on my phone until I felt good enough to go out for a fourth run. Then after that, I met up with Austin, who was delightedly going to the backcountry parts of the resort.

We ate lunch, got some caffeine, and went back out – where I tried my first black diamond.

3. Tried more difficult terrain without going so hard

Look at this picture of Austin chillin’ by a black diamond:

20180225_151308

Can’t see anything? Yeah, I didn’t realize that the VERY STEEP HILLS were actual RUNS.

To the seasoned skier and snowboarder, not going straight down a hill is very much a “no duh” moment. But for me, I thought that was my only option, which is why I avoided black diamonds.

But Austin pointed out that I could 1) go at an angle and do switchbacks through the powder, and 2) I didn’t even have to go on my toe edge (which is a lot harder to commit to), I could just go on my heel edge.

And that’s exactly what I did. Imagine a falling leaf, swaying gently back and forth in the breeze. Now imagine that leaf tumbling through snow. That’s basically me.

The point is this: I made it down that mountain. I stayed on my heel edge, went side to side, occasionally wiped out (and REALLY worked my core trying to get up), and exhausted myself.

But I made it down the mountain.

What’s more, I did it again. I did two more black diamond runs, and was thoroughly exhausted by the time I was finished, due to all the falling and getting up.

But I was unhurt – and I made it down the mountain.

That’s definitely a win for me. I can’t wait to go again.

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