Thursday, February 23, 2006

Slow ride, take it easy

We're going up to New Hampshire this weekend, for two reasons: One, to visit with Alan and Kathleen, KB's* stepfather and his wife, two of the coolest people in the world. Two, SO I CAN GO SNOWBOARDING! Huzzah! It has been three years since I've had a chance to ride, and to say I'm excited about it is like saying Jon Stewart is mildly amusing. I can't wait. I'm a little worried that I may have forgotten how to do it! It's probably like riding a bike, right? Nolan and KB are going to hang out at the condo with Kathleen and Alan, and I am going to GO SNOWBOARDING! (KB would come to the mountain, too, but he doesn't own equipment, so he would have to rent some, and that plus the lift tickets would be just a wee bit much for our finances at this point in time. What a guy, huh?)

The last time I actually rode my board wasn't even at a ski resort proper. Or improper. It was when we lived in New York City, on west 141st Street in Harlem. We were on the second floor of a brownstone right across the street from St. Nicholas park. The park is like a long rectangle positioned on a very steep hill, but shortways rather than longways. Does that make any sense? The hill goes from high to low across the shorter leg of the rectangle. If I had one of those Wacom tablets I'd draw it for you. It's a very cool park, with lots of stairs and paths that are great for walking. But on the end closest to our street, there was a fairly open grassy part of the hill with a few trees. Perfect for sledding. Or snowboarding.

So one fine January day, after it had snowed about 10 inches (a lot for New York, but nothing compared to the recent blizzard) I put on my snowpants and boots and trucked over to the park with my board. There were four kids with two sleds already there, taking turns zipping down the hill, wiping out at the bottom (you had to wipe out on purpose to avoid zipping straight on over the sidewalk and out into traffic on St. Nicholas Ave.) and then trudging back up the hill with the sled to let the other kid take a turn.

I show up with my board, and these kids (who were maybe 10 years old) looked at me like I was a stark, raving lunatic. "You gonna go down the hill on that?" one of them said to me, as if I was holding a cardboard box or a piece of plywood riddled with nails, rather than something that was expressly designed to go down snow-covered hills. "Gonna try," I said.

The snow was very wet, heavy and sticky, and I kept getting stuck on random clumps of muddy grass that had been turned up by the sledders' trips down the hill. The only solution (save waxing my board - not an option at the time) to sticky spots is to go faster and just sort of power over them. After a couple runs to get my feet under me, I started to really zip down. We had a few races among us, an unemployed 29-year old woman on a snowboard and four 10-year olds from Harlem. There were quite a few photo finishes, as they could go straight down hell for leather and I had to throw in a few turns to keep in control.

I had to really pull up short at the bottom to avoid the aforementioned sidewalk, and after only a few more runs, the bottom of the hill was all chopped up mud and grass. We decided to call it a day. The kids were slightly less skeptical of my snowboard by this point in time, and one of them even called it "cool," or whatever the current slang of the day that translated to "cool" was. I don't really remember because I'm not now nor have I ever been cool, but I have to say I felt pretty cool right then.

Since then we've moved to Boston. Our first winter here ('03-'04) was one of buying our house and saving up for our wedding, hence: no snowboarding. Our second winter here ('04-'05) I was pregnant with Nolan and, despite my asking my primary care physician, OB, and anyone else in the medical profession up to and including the receptionist at the OB's office, I was always told it was Not A Good Idea, hence: no snowboarding. Now, at long last: snowboarding.

I hope I feel as cool as I did back in New York.

Thanks for reading.

*I'm going to call my husband KB in this blog. He has, in the past, expressed some reservations about my putting details of our lives up on the Most Public Venue In The World, a.k.a. the internet (I don't think anyone out there is really going to care enough about our little world, not to mention even notice it in the first place, to cause trouble, but I do care about his feelings), so I will use a pseudonym for him, and I will be trying my damndest to remember not to put our last name on here anywhere. Plus, I can then start to give him funny nicknames a la Tenacious D. Kaybles comes to mind, for one. Or KB Toy and Hobby.

1 comment:

zachdb said...

I can picture you riding down that little hill and, though I would be the first to point and laugh, I've got to give you credit for using what you had on hand. So what if it's no Mammoth Mountain. Have a great time!! Next year when you come visit, you're bringing your board and we're headed to Tahoe. Even if it's just a day trip. And that's that.