Snowboarding: Not as easy as it looks
MT. BACHELOR, Ore. -- So many people dream of stepping onto the Olympic dream, but so few actually make it to the games. I decided, at the ripe age of 37, to start my quest with my first ever snowboard lesson.
"My hopes are high Matt," said my Mount Bachelor snowboard instructor Nate (N8) Edgell. "All I need to do is get pressure to that arc, and that should make my snowboard turn."
In truth, the first few trips down the baby slope go better than expected. No true falls, some easy turns and plenty of encouragement.
"Good job! Good job!" N8 calls out.
I'm ready for my first chairlift. Getting on, no problem. Getting off -- let's just say I got better acquainted with the snow.
There's no shortage of things to remember.
"Keep those hips down! Keep those toes up! Flex the ankle on that board. Lift up those right toes nice and high -- stand up on that left heal," says N8.
Whether its good instruction or natural talent, I'm picking up speed.
The wind in my face, the sun glistening overhead, the mountain peaks cut against a blue sky, it's perfect, until...
"So what I would like you to do, is we're going to get a bit advanced here," says N8.
The challenge: to quit backsliding down the hill and turn on the toe edge of my snowboard.
This is where I hit the wall. One crash follows another.
N8 has a secret weapon for moments like this: He lies.
"You got this -- perfect Matt!"
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Alright, fourth time's a charm. Crash. OK, maybe the fifth time is the charm.
It's not pretty, but I make it around on my toe edge.
True, I go a little too far and fall on the backside of the turn, but I made it all the same.
Olympic caliber? Maybe not, but inspired, certainly.