Shame on me, but I have to admit I almost forgot who much fun slushy spring sessions are. After years I finally went for a spring ride once again and I almost couldn’t believe how much fun it or how on earth I could have forgotten that.
Destination of my choice for the Easter weekend was Spring in the Park on the Zugspitze. Together with K2 and Ride the Zugspitze organised a huge spring session in their terrain park with a huge chill out area, test booths and snowboard and ski team riders as coaches.
As it’s only a one-hour drive there from my hometown Munich and the first week was dedicated especially to the ladies it was evident I had to check it out.
After learning some badly scaring facts about our only glacier (the ice has shrunk over 35 metres in the last 30 years, they had to close one complete piste because of that as well as move and redesign the whole park) it was time to hit the park. For me it meant time to raise my heartbeat and get wobbly knees… I’ve always had so much respect for park kids, but could never bring myself to try it out myself after some rather painful slams.
But this time everything was different. The weather was so warm it was almost unbelievable you were in the mountains and the snow was so soft and slushy it didn’t even hurt when you landed flat on your stomach (which I did more than once), but I think the biggest part in my new found love for the park played Julia Baumgartner and Maike Haller, the K2 girl snowboard coaches.
It is well and truly amazing how much you can progress in only one day if you have somebody by your side who can tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong or well. If I was afraid and not sure about what speed I needed Julia would do the obstacle first and in the second run she would make me go first so she can watch and tell me what I’m doing wrong. Like that I didn’t only overcome my fear of slipping on boxes, I also did some grabs with my straight airs over the small kickers!
Suddenly no matter how stupid a slam must have looked, I didn’t care anymore. I was so stoked on learning new stuff nothing else mattered. I even did some 180s on the slope – something I thought I need at least one week at some camp to learn, but Julia’s encouraging “I know you can do it!" cheer-ups were enough for me to try – and succeed!
More stoked than ever and with a real good goggle tan I returned back to Munich, asking myself why the hell I hadn’t tried that earlier.
I think the main reasons why girls don’t hang out in parks so much are that they’re afraid to get hurt, to humiliate themselves and they don’t have buddies to rip the park with. All of this was true for me as well. But on this weekend I’ve learned some vital things. If it’s fear of slams that’s holding you back, get yourself protection! Knowing you can’t perilous hurt your head or back can give you wings. If you’re afraid to humiliate yourself, go to an organised park session like Spring in the Park! There you have professional coaches to help you look a lot less stupid as if you’d try on your own and there are a lot of other girls who want to learn new stuff so you don’t have to be brave alone.
Believe me, no one will laugh about you if you just go for it and give it a try – the only thing people might laugh at is if you tell them you didn’t have the courage to ask for help…