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Those words actually came out of my buddy’s mouth yesterday. It kinda sums up the intensity he brings to the mountain. The comment might have shocked me, but the guy had already tricked me into riding my first real Black Diamond trail.

Yeah, seriously, he tricked me. Amid his pre-ride coaching I promised to give a Black Diamond a go before the end of the day but requested a slow start.

“Let’s start on an easy one. Ok? An intermediate slope?!”

“Sure, let’s go this way.” As he disappeared over a hill. Ummm, not an easy one!!!

But I have to give the guy lots o’ credit. If I had known I was riding it, I probably would have let my nerves get the most of me. High-five Gross-man for the manipulation. Well respected. It made me want to go back for more. So I did… and I ROCKED IT!

Look! See? Me rockin’ out:

I rocked it one and half times… one and a half times before I ate it… wiped out on my booty…

and kept on sliding…

and tried to ride out the momentum and get up mid-slide…

annnnnd… sorry, I dont have anymore screenshots to show the next slick move. But let’s say as my cameraman flew past me, I continued to gain speed, and when trying to pop back up into a standing position I caught the front edge of my trusty Troop and dove chest-first downhill into the hard-packed snow ahead of me. Since my hands decided to sit this one out, my full weight landed on my right rib cage, creating a sweet crunching sound… and knocking every molecule of air out of me. (Does air travel in molecules? I need a scientist to weigh in on this one.)

If I could get the video plug-in on WordPress to work, I’d air Gross-man’s monologue about my disappearance — its entertaining. But alas, too difficult for my half-conscious mind.

Currently my body is demanding a state of immobility out of fear of moving through a position that is going to trigger excruciating pain to rocket through my nerves and make my stomach nauseous. Not fun! The Stratton first aid clinic thinks I’ll be a-ok if I lay off the moving around and lay on the ice. But I think Im gonna get a second opinion from an x-ray machine.

This really dampens my half-marathon training, but as crazy as it makes me sound, it was so worth it. SUCH A RUSH!

I dance on my snowboard when I’m chuffed with my runs!

Thanks for the runs and the fun camera work Gross-man.

Sidenote: I had bruised ribs last time I rode Stratton Mtn with my ladies. And that was a dancin’-good time also!

Anyone have any advice for possibly cracked ribs?? 

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Every year my birthday gets me down. I always spend weeks hyping it up, talking as if I’m a big deal, and then the day comes and my smile fades, tail stops wagging, and I shut the F up.

I have no idea why, but without fail, I fall silent at turning another year older…
Until 2010.

On Saturday I turned 28. Twenty-eight officially puts me in the late-20s range, one step closer to the what-is-supposed-to-be-dreaded number 30. Thing is, I’m kinda looking forward to 30. I’m not looking forward to aging for the obvious reasons of progressively more violent and intolerable hangovers, and slower response time and less agility when throwing myself down a mountain… but I’ll fight it… mind over matter, eh?

I’m looking forward to it because they say your 30s are the best years of your life. Who says this? You know, “they;” the collective undefined group we attribute claims to when we have no valid reason for stating whatever it is we are stating.

Well, I believe “they,” and for good reasons, too. 1) Actual people whose opinions I respect have supported this statement. 2) And my intuition says, “30. good!”

But hold on: I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. This weekend was 28, and possibly one of the best birthdays I ever had. And again, for good reasons.

It kicked off with happy [six] hours. I once again collected those from all facets of my life that I hold near and dear to celebrate with me. The most difficult part of the night was trying to explain how everyone was connected.

Saturday I headed up to VT with the girls—JMay and Triple A.

Saturday Night: Vermont. Cherry Vodka. Brownies. Hot tub. ‘Nuff said.

(Side story to fit the NaBloPoMo theme of “strangers:” Sitting in the hot tub amidst piles of snow with drink in hand, I thanked SBing-CG for his hospitality and declared that the weekend was owning up be one of the best birthdays ever. At the time I was sitting in the hot tub with SBing-CG and two ppl who up until two hours earlier were essentially strangers. Yet, new people, new energy, all good. (And yes, since my book apparently isn’t writing itself, I’m NaBloPoMo’ing again to try to kickstart the habit.))

Sunday: Stratton. Snow. Snowboard. No more fractured bones. Good day.

Car ride home with JMay and Triple A… bringing us to up near 10 hours of road-trip QT time.

Being absolutely spoiled rotten by JMay and Triple A.

All in all, it was a great time, great weekend, fabulous company and top-choice activities. What more could a girl ask for…

Happy Birthday to me! 29 here I come!

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As pretty much all of you know—because I don’t shut the hell up about it—last year I picked up a new sport. Snowboarding. This was thanks to my boyf at the time; I had previously never given boarding a second thought, except for, “those brats, who the hell do they think they are” whenever a boarder came millimeters away my ski attempts.

A vision of my body colliding with a tree, broken limbs knotting themselves around my skis and poles, always prevented me from gaining enough speed to actually grasp the sport of skiing.  In other words, I was scared.

When I took my first major fall on a board, I felt myself tumble down the mountain my board spinning along in its edge, secure to my feet. There would be no broken limbs to tangle on a tree with that thing attached to me. (I know, I know, statistically it’s more likely to break a bone on a securely attached board than on removable skis—whatever.)

Since then my boarding skills have improved, but I still maintain the same approach: Throw myself down at the fastest manageable speed and figure out the balance, turn, stop and go thing along the way.

And this weekend, my first time out for my second season of riding, I had quite an “a-ha” moment. We headed up to Vermont to ride Mt Snow with the free passes we received at the TGR video premiere a few weeks back. (Sweet deal!)

Fresh snow. Light crowd. It was spot on!

Silly girls we are, our first run was on a very steep “blue” trail that we ended up riding down on our heels, but we made it—and the view was phenom!

Halfway down my first run of the blue/green trail I stuck to for the remainder of the day, it hit me. My feet were cramped up like… oh man, I was just gonna say something really nasty… and I heard one ex boyf’s voice in my ear telling me to stop using my feet and lean into my boots.

I leaned toeside, heelside, toeside, heelside, using my stomach muscles to throw my body in whatever direction necessary to avoid colliding with the childrens ski school class I seemed to have inadvertently joined.

Voila! I was linking my turns like whoa!
(And avoiding other riders/skiers—something I usually did by standing still with my fingers crossed.)

My speed is still not where I’d like it to be but I look like I know what I’m doing. I even successfully landed after accidentally going off a small mogul.

Woooo, thud!

It was a kick-arse start to the season (even though we did lose one of our crowd to the bar) and I’m psyched to have almost three months of riding ahead. I plan on making the most of it. It was my first time in Vermont, and I will agree with the state’s boarding advocates, it is better. Hence why I’m heading back next week. 🙂

And maybe by the spring I’ll have balls to up and move somewhere with more cold, snow and mountains and less hot, humid beaches!

Till then…

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This winter I discovered a new love. I discovered a love that satisfies my need for excitement; a love that offers the rush and sense of danger I thrive off of; a love that requires technique and strategy to work towards; a love that puts me outdoors in the fresh cold winter air…

The boy took me snowboarding.

My first experience was on the lil’ ski school hill—as is most peoples. But with empty slopes and fresh snow falling, I was not content on working my way up—I am much better at just throwing myself into whatever it is I am learning. So after I sort of learned to stop, I got on the lift and rode to the top… of the bunny hill!

Two hours, a couple successful stops and a whole lot of falls later, I wobbled off the mountain with two bruised knees, one beat up tailbone and black and blues covering my legs feeling more exhilarated than I have since my first skydive. I couldn’t stop smiling—I was having the time of my life.

The next morning when we hit the mountain, my outlook started to change. I attempted to ride down the bunny hill but with two bruised knees, one beat up tailbone, black and blues covering my legs and many many little kids flying all around me, I wasn’t feeling too positive.

But I stuck to it: Ride the ski lift, fall on my butt trying to get off the ski lift, strap on board, attempt to ride, fall, attempt to ride, fall, attempt to ride, attempt to stop, collapse within inches of a small child… you get the idea.

By the end of the day I progressed enough that the boy allowed me to accompany him on a green slope. You know in the movies when someone is climbing a hill or mountain and they get to the top and the screen allows you to see over the edge and it looks like they have reached the end of the earth?? Well, there, halfway up Camelback Mountain, in Pennsylvania, I was at the edge of the earth. Of course it took me some time to realize this: I spent ten minutes on the ground waiting for the excruciating pain in my butt to subside—and the tears to dry up—after landing on my arse on an ice patch getting off the ski lift. But then I realized, I was at the edge of the earth.

Of course the edge of the earth didn’t intimidate me for long. By my 5th or 6th run I could ‘leaf’ my way down without falling… almost. All things considered, I was kicking arse!

The Burton Troop snowboard my parents bought me for my birthday

The Burton Troop snowboard my parents bought me for my birthday

Since then I attempted a few more ‘green’ slopes—and one blue—on my own snowboard (thanks mom and dad… look at the photo, isn’t it cool?) where I took a few intense falls that landed me on my head, possibly deformed my tailbone and most recently cracked or very badly bruised some ribs. But I also nailed some of those slopes and in two short months taught myself to ride and stop both heelside and toeside. And with any hope, by next year I’ll look cool doing it. 😉

I love that snowboarding requires skill so I always have something to work towards, but it’s also such a rush—riding on your blade fighting to stay upright, stopping on the edge of the trail alongside a drop into the trees or just the sound of the wind as you scrap past other riders… ahhhh!!! Brilliant!

I’ve always been a winter person but this adds snow and mountains into the equation when deciding where to move.

Who fancies hitting the slopes?

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