Wednesday, May 31, 2023
HomeHealth & FitnessLearning to snowboard as an adult sucks — but I love it...

Learning to snowboard as an adult sucks — but I love it anyway

I grew up believing that I was not good at sports. Specifically, I am athletically inactive, clumsy, uncoordinated, and tire easily. I heard it from the gym teachers and they wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom because they thought I was just trying to skip class. I heard it from my peers. I heard it from myself.

To be fair, neither my gym teacher nor my peers nor I were completely off par. When I asked to go to the bathroom at the gym, I was just to get out of class. In middle school, I took the president-inspired, school-mandated mile jog test—and walked it backwards, just for fun.

But in the end, I was wrong. Don’t believe that I’m bad at sports, but believe that it matters if I’m bad at sports. Because sports can actually be fun, even if you’re not good at it. especially if you are not good at these. If, like me, you’re a perfectionist in other areas of your life, allowing yourself to be bad at something can feel like a freedom.

That’s why I can’t describe it enough, quieting my mind, toning my body, strapping my skis to my feet, strapping my helmet to my skull and spend hours falling off the side of a mountain. But I don’t just want you to know that I’m a terrible snowboarder—I want you to understand that you can be one, too. Here’s how I picked up a fun new hobby that I’m pretty good at.

Let your whimsy be your guide.

My first foray into the world of sports was rowing. I was in my first year of college and a stranger turned to me at the end of a class and said, “You’re tall. Meet me at the gym tomorrow morning at 5am” The fact that I went proved that freshman year is unbelievable Solitude, and the power to do whatever you want.

Boating turned out to be cold, wet, painful and tiring. Somehow, I instantly liked it. In fact, I had so much fun that I went back the next day, and somehow, my senior year, I was captain of the worst DIII varsity rowing team ever in the NCAA (go Gryphons!). Trying to row has changed my perception of myself for the better. I no longer understand my relationship to athletics through the simple binary of “good” and “bad.” I never expected to be successful, so the standard of achievement normally used to manage my event experience simply didn’t apply. I realized I could enjoy a sport.

Six years later, a few friends asked me if I wanted to take a day trip to the nearby mountains and learn how to ski. Of course, by then I had developed an unbelievably strong love for a sport, but rowing involves sitting in one spot and doing the exact same thing over and over Movement. I am still inactive, clumsy, uncoordinated and tires easily. Also important to consider is the fact that snowboarding seems to be a new kind of cold, wet, painful and exhausting sport.



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