The Journey Back To Snowboarding – We Got The Bug

It is official – my boys have been infected with the snowboarding bug. I have been waiting for this time – not really sure it would ever happen that all of these four boys would be big enough that we could enjoy something that allows for such amazing exertion, fun and freedom. It is so exhilarating. I knew this feeling before I had kids but I put things on hold and really did not expect to get back to it but here we are!  I am so happy to share this bug with these brilliant boys.  So if you have four kids and you are wondering how it can be done – it can.  If you object that your husband does not and you need his help – you do not.  You can do this by yourself and quite honestly if you ever loved being on the hill like I used to – take it back and show that to your children.

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Last winter in 2010/2011 the older boys took lessons at COP and were pretty good by the end of the lessons.  So this year I sourced equipment for all of the boys and made that purchase with Christmas gift money.  The equipment sat in the basement waiting.  In the waiting it would come out for tobogganing days which were lots of fun but it was still not quite the same.  These days on the tobogganing hill did bring familiarity for the younger boys – which was a good start but we were not quite riding the snow – playing in the powder.

Finally in February we started lessons and ski days with our school board.  This was the second set for my older boys and the first for my 6 year olds.  By the end of 4 lessons I had 2 functioning little snowboarders on my hands and 2 rather impressive boarders.  The next logical step was to keep going and so I took all 4 boys to Nakiska.  Now COP is pretty good but it is not a real mountain and so the experience was new and fun.

I was nervous as heck to take all four of my boys snowboarding especially with the range of skill and the little ones just not at the level for independence but I did it anyways.  We had several ups and downs but we did it and it was so much fun.

Paul is riding very well and I dare say he is almost as good as me.  He rides differently than I ever did and in true boy fashion he is trying the tricks and has mastered box slide and can catch air and land masterfully – half the time.  He is fully carving as in doing S turns rather than shimmying down like my little twins.  He can ride anywhere that I can ride.  Highlights for him would be the freedom, adventure and overcoming that feeling of wanting to quit.  On the first day of his lessons this year he had decided in his mind it would be easy.  He figured he had “learned it all last year”. So it was a surprise to both him and I when half way through that day he was quite certain that he would quit.  Fortunately we were nabbed up by a rather impressive instructor that got him on the right track.  He is very happy he did not give up and indeed he learned a valuable life lesson.

Samuel just cruised right through learning and never really got discouraged.  He is doing very well and trying all of the same tricks as Paul.  He tends to go a little too slow as he nears the box slide and so falls off the side and goes around but I understand he has done it once.  He is forever pushing himself and I understand his determination and confidence.  He is curious about riding in the trees where his older brother likes to carve and do S turns.  I wonder if this different style is a way to set him self apart.  It works out good for me because they are less competitive each tapping into different aspects of the activity.

Alexi is quite amazing as well and just chugs along after his brothers and is in a hurry to get as good as them.  It is fun to watch them as they take their place and encourage each other while all the same the individual strengths and abilities shine through.

Damon is in a completely different element and mood while he is on the hill which quite honestly makes things a little “different” for me.  Perhaps I could use the word “complicated”.  He is also doing quite well but is also very busy looking at all of the people, listening to all of the sounds, sucking on his mitten (while riding – I think he is eating snow) and most importantly telling stories.  When he gets to the top of the chair lift and everybody else is buckled and ready to go – he is usually talking and looking around.  I have to coach him through getting ready.  When he falls he also has stories to tell and so quite honestly after a very long morning of trying to keep him up to the others I have opted to pretend that I can not hear him.  I even pretend that I did not notice he fell and shoot just a little out of his view and wait for him to get up and go.  Once I see he is up I go again.  Ever so often I make the mistake of asking how it goes and the stories start.  He has such a gift for being in the moment and I hate to take that away so I breathe deep breaths and try to take turns – listening and then ignoring.  I love him but I can only handle so much – especially with the mental stress of knowing the other 3 boys are half way down the mountain.

Within the day were stories upon stories and it was classic to what I know – really great and amazing mixed in with total frustration and difficulty.  Bathroom breaks are complicated, staying together is complicated, falling in flat spots – complicated, older boys going off track to the powder and little ones following – complicated.  But we ride that out and focus as much as possible on the good moments.  Those moments are so good.

And so we will ride on in to the sunset forever more – and I am happy to be a pretty cool mom that can do this with them.


~ by Nicole on March 24, 2012.

One Response to “The Journey Back To Snowboarding – We Got The Bug”

  1. […] I have written about our experience of snow boarding quite extensively in my Fish Tank Mom blog and now I want to share my perspective on the learning aspect of this experience for us.  It has been a team building experience for us, we have learned a variety of basic miscellaneous skills, we have pushed our comfort levels in regards to socialization and we have reviewed lots of safety/stranger safety stuff.  For some background go to […]

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