Today's guest blogger: Charmian Christie
If life begins at 40, I'm ahead of the curve by learning to snowboard at the tender age of three. For those who think it's too late to teach an old (or middle-aged) dog a new trick, I'm living proof it's not the case. Last week, I went to Mont Tremblant, Quebec to learn how to snowboard, even though my skiing skills are rusty, and I have a bad track record on the slopes.
Fifteen years ago, I proved I couldn’t be trusted on snowy hills. Five minutes into my first ski lesson ever, I tore a ligament in my right knee. After months of physio, I went skiing again, only to torque my left knee in a misguided attempt at protecting the right one. I walked away from the slopes and never looked back. Until I saw snowboarding... It looked more looked more my style—gliding sideways down the mountain instead of face first.
My biggest challenge was facing the fears of well-meaning friends who were sure I'd end up in the hospital at best, or the morgue at worst. If I'd listened to every horror story they told me, I'd have simply bundled myself in bubble wrap and rolled down the hill. Drawing on another cliché, “with age comes wisdom,” I opted for a helmet, wrist braces and a private lesson as my insurance policy.
While my first attempts won me some bruises, I'm proud to say I mastered the basic “cowboy stance” by the end of the lesson. Ironically, several years of dance lessons finally paid off since this macho posture is a modified plié. Although I’m still a few lessons away from officially being a “dialed-in Betty,” I came out of the ordeal unscathed—unlike my friends' 14-year-old son who broke both his arms snowboarding recently.
I admit I didn't throw myself into the lesson with the same abandon I would have 15 years ago. Instead, I approached the sport with more strategy and patience. I knew I wouldn't be hot dogging an hour later, which had been my secret ski fantasy and likely led me to push my body too far.
At 43, I approach adventure in a more philosophical way. I want to see where it leads me instead of imposing a predetermined goal on myself. I enjoy the journey more and care about the final destination less. Was it worth it? Yes. Will I continue snowboarding? Time will tell. But for my 4th birthday, I think I’ll try spelunking…
Nomadik Outdoor Adventures