Sunday, January 15, 2017

Out of the Box 7: Maria Tries Snowboarding



All geared up!
Now that I’ve been living in Minnesota for 11 years, I thought it’s finally time to toughen up and actually try some outdoor winter sports. If you know me, you’ll know that outdoors and winter aren’t exactly my favorite things in the world. But, I am determined for 2017 to be my year of not only trying new things but specifically trying new sports and activities I usually wouldn’t do. (I secretly want to become more “outdoorsy”).
Friday the 13th!
It seems like fate when my cousins Mike and Izzy came to visit from out of town to celebrate Izzy’s 30th birthday with the intent to snowboard. Snowboarding was the perfect bonding experience and not to mention, perfectly fitting for my out of the box series blog posts. So of course, I was nothing but excited. None of us have never been snowboarding so we knew it would be a fun learning experience.

Our snowboard instructor, Matt and I!
Shockingly, despite the fact that I’ve lived here for a decade in this freezing state, I didn’t have snowpants, snow gloves, or any outfit suited for winter activities. So off we go to Dick’s sporting goods and peruse good ‘ol Amazon for some affordable snowpants, hand and body warmers, snow gloves, and anything that will protect us from frostbite.

WHERE


Initially, we wanted to go to Afton Alps for our first snowboarding endeavor. But let’s be honest, none of us have actually snowboarded before, and Afton isn’t exactly cheap nor is it for newbies. So we decided to be realistic, and go to Buck Hill for our first snowboarding escapade. Our snowboarding package went from $185 (Afton Alps) to $39 (Buck Hill) with a comparable package of  90 mins snowboarding lessons, snow boots, snowboard rental, and helmet.  Whew! With my level of snowboarding skill (or perhaps, lack thereof), $185 is not worth it. For $39 per person at Buck Hill, we were able to receive a private lesson from Matt for 90 mins (pictured on the right in orange jacket). And that’s including our boards and boots! What a steal! I recommend buck hill for your first few snowboarding experience before moving up to Afton Alps. I'll probably go back to Buck Hill if I want another snowboarding lesson or for my first skiing lesson.

THE EXPERIENCE


Documenting your falls is crucial right? (low left)
Our instructor Matt first taught us how to slide with our snow boards with our dominant foot strapped in and the other doing the kicking. At first, we had trouble identifying if I’m a regular or a goofy. I fence with my right leg dominant. However, in fencing, even though you lunge and attack with your right foot, your left foot is finishing all the action. Of course, I was the first person that the instructor know who fence, he couldn’t tell me whether I’m regular or a goofy. I had to do a trial run and see which one’s I’m more comfortable with and we ended up deciding that I’m a regular. After about 10 minutes of practicing how to slide with our snowboard, we had to drag our boards up to a bunny hill. 

We did that for about 10 minutes until we tried to actually snowboard from a bunny hill. I’d say, the hardest part about snowboarding for me (other than the entire thing, lol) is going up the hill with your snowboard and standing up after strapping your own board/after a fall. The heaviness of the snow boots itself takes a ton of effort to navigate the board itself. Mad respect to real snowboarders out there! This shit aint easy!

THE VERDICT

"Eternal Cousins" minus my sister Marianne
Highly recommend! I at least recommend trying this sport once, especially if you live in a cold state like Minnesota. If you do well and ended up loving it, great! If not, hey, you tried something new! Not gonna lie, I struggled a ton. Meanwhile, Izzy (far left in blue pants) and Mike (far right) were crushing the lesson. They were pretty natural at it, and it was fun to witness! They even got to try a bigger hill (relative to the small hill that was overwhelming enough for me, =P). It didn’t bother me that I didn’t excel as well as I’d like for my first time. After all, it’s about making memories and trying new things, and I did just that! I’ve always had this overwhelming fear of failure to the point that it actually inhibits me from trying new things and perform well. Knowing this and purposely doing things outside my comfort zone help me face my fears with head on and realizing, hey, it’s ok to try and fail! What’s the worst that could happen? Fall? Tough luck. It won’t hurt me. You just have to get back up after a fall, right? In this activity however, this saying couldn’t be truer…literally.


UP NEXT: Skiing? Skating? Wall climbing? Ahh! Let me know what I should try next. Think activity and sports this time :)


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