Went to the snow for a couple of days. It was meant to be a work outing, but only the host and I showed up, and I had the presence of mind to bring along my ski-enthusiast spouse. Now, playing in the snow can be fun. But I haven't been on skis since I was a teenager (which is, um, several years ago now), and I've been having my doubts about taking it up again. On the other hand, snow-boarding looks kind of fun, and seems like it would be gentler on my knees. Several friends recommend it. OK, so I'll take a lesson.
Boy, did I get a lesson.
I mean, the instructor (an Aussie bloke) was great, and the basics were easy, scooting with one foot on the board, sliding, curving, and so on. No problem. Until the hill came into play. Not that the hill was a problem per se, except for two things: One, it had this nasty habit of jumping up and hitting me, quite hard. And two, once down, I found it nearly impossible to right myself and get back atop the board without once again falling on some already-bruised part of me.
I was prepared for this. Everyone told me that the first couple of days on the board are tough, and it's not until you've had at least three days of lessons and practice that it begins to be really fun. I must say, for me it wasn't fun. At all. It hurt. It was frustrating. I kept thinking that my first day on skis was (although frustrating at times) fun, and featured some accomplishments, and by the end of the day, I was happily riding up the beginner hill and snow-plowing down.
Not like that on the board. For one thing, you have to keep taking one foot in and out of the bindings. Now, once you're actually skiing a meaningful distance down the hill, this won't be a big deal, but when you're mostly stumbling and falling on the little class hill, you spend an inordinate amount of time removing and refastening the bindings. Add to this all the time spent sitting on your rear end trying to get back up, and a huge portion of your day is spent not riding your board.
I know it gets better. But it wasn't fun.
And did I mention it hurt? Nice, well-groomed, packed slope. That means it's hard. Not quite like ice, but hard. You feel it when you hit it. When you fall. When you slip getting back up. It hurts. Oy.
Ibuprofen is my friend.
Anyway, after tumbling and sitting much of the day Sunday, I was in no shape to get back on the hill today. I rested. I watched a movie. I did a little work. My spouse and my coworker went off to the ski resort and had a lovely day of skiing. I rested. I feel much better.
I came home and told my daughter about my adventures. She was very excited that I had taken a snowboard lesson (though not as excited as she was by the new skis my wife bought), but she suggested very seriously that the next time I go to the snow, I should try skis, because they're much, much easier.
I think I will take her advice. She is very wise.