About bloody time for an update, eh?

Man, I soooo need an icon of me snowboarding or something...

Right now I'm at National Park and I just had my first day of snowboarding, as the mountain was closed yesterday. Luckily, my friend Damelza lives down here so she has been keeping me company in between work and other commitments. Yay for Damelza! {{{big hugs}}}

Anyway, I went up the mountain today. I was so chuffed to hear at 7am that the lower mountain would be open... immediately packed up my gear and headed off. I had to park in carpark 10 as you needed snow chains or 4WD to go higher than that, but that's ok because I caught a shuttle. In fact, easier than walking from the higher carparks, because you don't really have to walk at all! Hmmmm will keep that in mind. It also means, though, that any spare clothes or stuff is way down the mountain in the car and you can't just pop back and get it.

I boarded in Happy Valley from about 8.30 to lunchtime, then headed up the mountain with Damelza to get my lesson at 12. I was the only adult, so instead of getting a group lesson for two hours, I got a private lesson for one hour. It was great. I got the same guy who I had last time I got a snowboarding lesson here. I have to admit, I was pretty tired already by that point. I'm not used to snowboarding and so any attempts at it are ultimately exhausting. Still, I did my best. I was having trouble getting up at this point, let alone doing what Steve, the coach, was asking me to do. He was very patient, and gave me a good scolding if I needed it. I have trouble with my toe edge to heel edge turns. Grr.

Eventually we moved to go down the Rock Garden. This is a slope I'm quite comfortable doing on skis, but I was absolutely terrified of trying it on a board! It didn't start well. Those bloody turns from toe to heel got me every time for the first part of the track, and probably about 50 to 100 metres from the start I'd bailed at least 6 times, each time while attempting that turn. The other turn was fine! So by this stage I was shattered from having bailed so often so soon, and each time having to get myself up out of the snow and keep going. I admit to crying in frustration. I told Steve I needed just a moment, turned my back to him, dried my tears, then took a deep breath and kept going. Lovely man didn't comment.

After that I was determined to not fall so often, but it was hard. My legs were so fatigued that they were actually quivvering. But... with the patient (and sometimes scolding) help of Steve, I eventually managed that turn. Then I even got the hang of doing several in a row... working up to weaving down the mountain. Yes, I still fell, but I was so much more in control. By the time I got to the bottom of the Rock Garden I was able to do about 7 or 8 turns before either having to stop (voluntarily) or falling. I'm so chuffed!

Steve gave me one last pep talk then left me to return to Happy Valley. I managed another few runs (I think three?) before the pain in my legs got too unbearable. We went home at 2pm.

Tomorrow... my aim is to start at Happy Valley, get those turns under control, then go up the Rock Garden again. I made it once without killing myself - this looks promising for future endeavours, right?
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