Last week, I cried in the middle of the mountain. Tears streaming down my face and misting up my goggles. I wasn’t injured, I wasn’t in pain. I was just totally frustrated at my snowboarding.
It sounds stupid, right? My boyfriend was patiently coaxing me down the hill. I’d asked him for tips on perfecting my turns and getting more movement in my snowboarding. I wanted to be ready to tackle steeper slopes and deep powder. And yet I was totally pissed off.
My legs weren’t bending enough, I wasn’t getting the right flow, my coccyx had taken a beating.
At the beginning of any holiday (or in my case, season), I suffer from lack of confidence and stiff legs. Who doesn’t? But it’s not the be all and end all. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a shit snowboarder for the rest of your life.
Here are my tips for when your legs are shaking and you feel like throwing your snowboard at the nearest tree and/or good snowboarder…
Chill out, man
There is totally no need to stress. No one is watching. No one really cares if you look like a complete div. Getting stressed out will only ruin your day (and probably your riding partner’s).
Take a deep breath. Smile. Plough on – or just take a break. Go and get yourself a well-deserved beer, before having a second go at it. No one expects you to be ripping on day two or even week two.
OK, so your boyfriend may mean well when he tries to give you some technique tips, but it’s an all-round better idea to get yourself a lesson.
Private lessons are best, as the instructor will totally focus on what you want to achieve from your snowboarding and give you some exercises to take away.
It sounds almost stupidly simple, but when you’re on a season and skimping as much as possible, you’re probably not going to want to fork out for a lesson. Do it, it’ll totally be worth it.
Practice, practice, practice
You’re going to fall over. A lot. But that’s OK. As a wise woman once said, if you’re not falling over, you’re not trying hard enough.
Get out there every day you can, even if it’s a total white out or you’ve only got the morning to spare.
Every minute you spend on the mountains is another minute of experience. So ignore that hangover, pull on those thermals and get out there!
Count the small victories
Flats are my enemy. Every time we scoot to a chair lift I don’t know – and there’s a big flat run up – I end up unstrapping and walking the rest of the way.
Picking up speed is terrifying at first, but when you get the hang of rocking edge-to-edge, you’ll be well chuffed when you finally make it all the way along the bastard cat track.
I’ve now started riding all the way up to the bottom of the lift I could never quite reach before. Small victory, but still worth counting.
You are not as bad as you think you are
Get rid of those negative thoughts, woman!
You are not as bad as you think you are. In fact you’re better than half the punters on this mountain.
Buck up those ideas and get shredding...