I used to hate the winter. Shoveling snow, treacherous driving, the cold, the layers – it seemed like there was no redeeming part of being surrounded by snow and ice.
Growing up on the flat lands of Nebraska and Wisconsin didn’t allow for much exposure to downhill mountain sports. One of my first downhill skiing experiences was down a converted garbage dump and I wasn’t very good at it. So as an adult when I moved to the Wasatch mountains in Utah they seemed surreal at first, like a set on a movie screen. Nothing could be that big.
Years passed. I got married. I still disliked the snow. Then something changed. I watched the Winter X games on TV. The snowboarders, skiers and snowmobilers blew my mind with their tricks, flips and wide faced smiles. I wanted a piece of that joy.
At that time my husband and I desperately wanted a baby. We had tried for 6 months, then a year, then a year and a half and couldn’t get pregnant. After watching the X games I decided if I couldn’t have a baby like I wanted then I would do something else that really wanted. Learn to Snowboard.
Thanks to a Womens Workshop at Brighton resort I did just that. The first lesson I didn’t even make it on the lift. I fell a lot and was sore by the end but I came back the next week and did it again. Then I signed up for the following month.
Something changed in my attitude. Suddenly I had a reason to love the snow. The joy and thrill of gliding down the mountain was new to me and I relished it. That thrill was only possible if the storms kept coming. Snow created so much joy that eventually I became a snowboard instructor and moved my whole family to live within walking distance of a ski resort.
Now my kids are learning to ski and I can hardly wait to see them catch a bit of that joy. Since I’m pregnant this season I will have to sit out. I’m so sad to miss out on the best thing winter has to offer. Snowboarding.