One of the perks of my mom homeschooling my little brother Cade is that they can often get some major educators discounts. This year (and last year) they were able to get some semi-season passes to Massanutten Ski Resort, right outside of Harrisonburg, VA, through their Richmond homeschooling group at an awesome discounted rate. Seeing as Erik had bought a snowboard last winter in hopes of being able to go when his collarbone was in one piece instead of four, we decided to join in this year.
Despite working at Massanutten as a photographer for two years, I never once tried skiing or snowboarding. I think it was that "if I don't have to work, I'm going home" mentality people get about places they work. I worked at Kohl's one summer and became completely unable to shop there when it had been one of my favorite stores prior to working there. And we'll also blame it on being a poor college student and my boss lying to me about free lift tickets.
So since Cade and my dad had taken the skiing lessons last year, they decided this year they wanted to learn to snowboard (lessons are included in the passes we got). Thinking it would be more fun to learn together, I went ahead and started with snowboarding as well.
Snowboarding is really hard.
After two visits and a beginner's lesson, all three of us felt like we were making NO progress and spending 90% of our time sitting on the ground. Cade decided to switch back to skis and after about ten minutes of deliberating, my dad said he could probably teach me to ski a lot faster than we'd ever learn to snowboard. So we went and exchanged our equipment and after about forty minutes on the bunny slope, we were hitting the lift for my first REAL run down a hill.
During all of this, Erik was getting reacquainted with his snowboard. He had snowboarded before and taken lessons when he was younger, so he was relearning, but still no expert.
On our third trip up to Massanutten, day two of skiing for me, I was starting to get the hang of skiing. Now, I'm a total sissy when I ski and try to go as SLOW AS POSSIBLE. I've always been innately cautious, but ever since my car accidents and the neck injury that I see a chiropractor for on a monthly basis, I've become extra cautious/paranoid. Basically, any time I start going really fast and feel out of control (I suck at stopping), I would fall out of panic. My dad kept saying there was no reason that he could see that I was falling, I'd just fall over. Basically the only reason was that I was scared of catastrophic results, so I'd stop myself before things got too nutso.
Speaking of catastrophic results... poor husband who had to deal with a broken collar bone all winter last year, hurt himself again on his second day of snowboarding. Being the mighty ginger that he is, when he fell, he told us all that he was fine and to go on ahead, so we did. We waited for him at the bottom of the hill so we could ride the lift up together, but he didn't come. And after a LOT of waiting, we saw him walking down the hill, carrying his board. He kept saying he was fine, but that his arm really hurt, so he was done for the day.
Flash forward a few hours and the doctors said he had broken his elbow.
No more snowboarding for Erik.
So this past weekend, we went up again and I moved on to two hills I had never tried before and was very proud of myself despite a few falls. Erik hung out with my mom in the lodge, playing on their laptops.
I like skiing a lot better than snowboarding. I like spending most of my time SKIING instead of on the ground. Even when I fall, you just don't fall quite as hard or as painfully as when you're snowboarding. I'm sure once you get the hang of snowboarding, it's really fun, but I paid a lot of attention to all the people laying on the ground around me, and most of them were snowboarders because it's just more difficult to pick up. Someone told me that snowboarding is harder to pick up, but easier to master while skiing is easier to pick up and harder to master. Makes sense to me and since I have no desire to master either one, I'll enjoy skiing for now :)