“Be prepared to fall.” That was the advice of my fiancée’s daughter, Jaclyn, when I asked for guidance on my first snowboarding lesson. (Great advice for life, really, but also a good reminder before I strapped on the board.) This weekend, the kids and I braved the bunny hill for our first-ever snowboarding experience. It was awesome. Yes, we fell a lot! And honestly, we were pretty terrible (ok, they were better than I was)—but the experience was truly once in a lifetime.
Think about it: How often do you get to learn something completely new with people you love? Usually, you’ve experienced it before, or when it comes to technology, it’s they who are teaching you. This time, we didn’t even know how to get the boots in the bindings, and we all had to figure it out together. I imagine this may have been a bit frightening for the kids… Mom had no idea what she was doing! Here are some examples of our complete cluelessness:
After we were strapped into our boards, Maddox said, “How do we move?” Mom: “No idea.” We stood like statues for a while watching others.
Marley: “How do we get up if we fall?”
Mom: “Not sure.”
We learned the hard way.
Ruby: “Does the rope tow hurt?”
Mom: “Let’s find out.”
Yes, a little.
We laughed much of the time and cried after a few tough falls, but mostly cheered each other on as we were thrown off the rope tow, tripped over ourselves on the magic carpet, and tumbled down the hill on anything but our snowboards. (Shout-out to our instructors Grant and Rosalynd—thank you for your patience!)
I realize how rare it is to be able to learn a skill for the first time together. Having zero knowledge of something in the morning and being able to execute a J-turn a few hours later was a victory for all four of us. By the end of the day on the mountain, the kids were skating their boards to move them, riding the magic carpet like pros, and taking the bunny hill fully upright with decent snowboarding form.
Jaclyn’s advice was sage: We were prepared to fall, and we did, but I am so grateful I also got see them fly.
I hope this week gifts you with warm clothes to protect from the cold, an open mind to learn something new, and a hand up if you fall.