December 15, 2001

hence forth hence…

I reserve the term snowboard for those that can actually do it.

I went falling at Spirit Mountain today. Supposedly some Woochers went earlier in the day, but I never saw anyone and ended up falling alone for three hours. They had one lift and two runs open, and the place was swarming with playful snowboarding collegiates and teens.

Boarding was wicked fun, though. My progress was slow until I started taking unnecessary risks. I amended my inner mantra from “first learn to turn, then jumps,” to “let’s do some bruising!” I got some serious four feet of air on jumps, and never made any effort to land. I’d launch, I’d fly, I’d flail, I’d squeal like a little girl, and then I’d crash in a mangled heap some fifteen feet from the jump. And I would laugh. Hard. Then I’d gather together my aching bones and head down the hill again.

I knock’d my head enough that turning my board became less of a problem. The mind finally shut up and let my innate knowledge of snowboarding take over. I stopped digging in my front edge and rolling endos down the hill. I’m now almost as good at the 7th graders out there.

Learning to do something brand spankin’ new is incredibly difficult but pleasingly self-reaffirming. Rarely does one get the chance to learn something that starts you right at ground-zero. Snowboarding allows this. Few skills I gleaned from downhill skiing, nordic skiing, skateboarding and kneeboarding transferred over to make things noticeably easier, and frustration would be the common man’s response. But I quieted the slippery snowfoot eel. I shoveled the stables, I begot goat children and I drank the blood of Hemingway. No man no longer am I, for what now speaks now be an demi-god. Whence forth my command of words hast gone, now replace it did with powers beyond comprehension of mortal mind. Beyond, I am. Beyond I stay, where the sun glints off crystals of infinite facet and lines are no threat to my brilliance.

For from this forth this hast I snowboarded. And hence forth hence shall I be snowboarding.