On Saturday morning I woke up to Nick crooning (or belting, rather) out songs with the alarm clock. Brian was up in a flash to turn off the music and put a stop to the "singing", and soon Shanna, too, was up and at'em, and only Joel and I were lingering in our respective beds, hiding from the lights and the perky people. That was at 6am.
By 7:08am, we five were loaded into Nick's car along with our snowboarding gear and bound for Holiday Valley down in Ellicotville, New York. Come 10:30, we were strapped into our snowboards and standing on the top of the mountain.
I learned something important on Saturday: the more effort you put into snowboarding, the more it hurts to fall. By 12:30 I hadn't really hurt myself yet. I fell a lot, yes, but they weren't spectacular falls and they certainly didn't bruise my tailbone at all. I had pretty much mastered the heel edge but due to the fact that I was wearing Brian's old boots that were about 4.5 sizes too big, I was having more than a bit of trouble even attempting the toe edge. Every time I tried to lift my heels off the ground to get on to my toe edge, my heels both lifted about two inches from the bottom of the boot, leaving the boots and snowboard flat on the ground. That caused some nice falls.
However, as the day progressed the boys kept tightening my boots until the boots and feet weren't goin' anywhere without eachother, and I was determined to carve. After many hours and many, many hard falls (Brian says there wasn't any ice on the hills. I would like to disagree. I think that my butt found a lot of it), I kinda got it. I mean, I didn't look like a real snowboarder by the end of the day, but I don't think that I looked like the beginner that I was in the morning. But man was I ever exhausted. I figure that I fell about 100 times, probably more. Each time I fell, I had to push myself back up again with my arms. Legs took the brunt of the falls, so my arms took the brunt of the recovery. If you're in doubt of what that feels like, just try sitting down and standing up in one spot 100 times in a row, and you might begin to get the idea. It's tiring.
I was insanely thankful to Mr Harsevoort for sticking with me on the hills whilst the other folk did their boarding in the bushes.... Joel and I even had our falls coordinated-- when I was down, I'd look across the hill and there was Joel, crumpled in a ball. You have no idea how much of a difference it makes to have someone else in the same situation as you on the hill.... I really felt like that much less of an idiot, just cause I had someone to laugh with. Good work, Joel!
Anywho, I considered it to be well worth the pain. It's actually a lot of fun, once you can go down the hill without falling on your butt at all. The weather was beautiful, the snow was hardly even cold, and I had some excellent teachers (those vanOostens have got some good patience). Funny thing though...in the midst of recovering from the snowboarding, I came down with the flu today. Figgers.