An Ollie of Faith

Photos by Jordana Green

I took up snowboarding two years ago. This is not a sport that someone who does not enjoy being cold, afraid, bruised, frustrated, or exhausted should try to learn at age 41. So why would I even attempt to master this? Handsome husband and his two awesome grown children snowboard. He suggested my kids and I learn so we can go on family snowboarding vacations. This is a very good reason. Two years after I first strapped on my board, I am still terrible. I’ve had about eight lessons and I totally suck and I’m still really awful. It’s embarrassing.

Learning a new skill as an adult can be excruciating—physically and mentally in my case with snowboarding. But how often do we get to do that? I realize keeping up with new technology keeps our minds sharp these days, but how often do you get to learn a new physical skill? I never go to Aerial Zumba or Kettelbell Pole Dancing on a regular basis, do you?

Ok, back to snowboarding.

We are just back from a family vacation in Colorado and I am covered in black and blue marks (see the pic of my knees). There isn’t enough Advil (or pot) in the state of Colorado to heal my body aches. I also need another vacation to recover from this one. Yet, it was awesome. Colorado is beautiful, the weather was warm, the mountains are stunning, and the snow, even in April, was great.  We bonded as a family and yes, I learned a lot…but I’m still bad.

Snowboarding battle wounds

Watching my children see the Rocky Mountains for the first time was fantastic, they were in awe. They were giddy over the gondola and the chair lifts that look like they reach the sky. They are no longer babies so it was a gift to get to experience some “firsts” with them again.

The kids who were not good boarders when we arrived learned so much and did not want to come home. After three days of lessons, they were flying all over the mountain while I was still struggling to turn properly. Score one for youth. They were also so proud to show me and handsome husband what they learned. I’m cool with them being better than I am because I always tell them the 2.0 version should be better than the first.

When I was first beginning to learn to snowboard I complained to a friend about how hard, painful and out of my comfort zone it was.  She responded, “Girlfriend you are too old to do anything just for someone else, if you don’t want to do it, just quit.” 

I did not take her advice (although it is sage in some other instances). I took up snowboarding for my husband because I adore him and would do anything for him.  What I received in return for taking this “Ollie” of faith makes all the aches and bruises and falls and curses I yell at myself when I wipe out totally worth it.

Now I pray he doesn’t ask me to go skydiving!

This week I wish you a sky high ROI on something you do for someone else.