Last night Mark and I headed out to Snowstar to go snowboarding for a few hours. It's a great place to go for a few hours because it's only 20 minutes from our place. It's pretty much the smallest snowhill you've ever seen, so it's hard to spend more than a few hours out there at a time without getting bored...UNLESS you enjoy jumps and rails. Well, my goal this year is to learn to go over small jumps and feel comfortable doing it. Usually, the thought of going over jumps at all makes me a little nervous. Most jumps, from the ski lift looking down, look really small and doable. Then I ride by them and they look huge, even when they're not. So I spent a good portion of last night giving myself some positive self talk: "Come on Jess, you can do this. It's not that scary. Just go slow and you'll be fine." And then I'd chicken out and ride on by.
So finally, toward the end of the night, I just sucked it up and went super slow over a mini jump, and wallah! All went well. So I did it again. And again. And it was fun! Now, I wasn't really getting air, I was just getting used to the feeling of riding on a flat board [verses carving on an edge] and going up and over a jump, but it was totally a great first step and I was feeling really confident.
Well, toward the very end, Mark points at one of the bigger jumps and says, "Hey, you should try and go over that big one over there. If you go slow, you can just ride over it like you do the little ones. Besides, if you go slow, the ramp will kill your speed anyway...you might not even make it over. It will just be good for you to get the feeling of going up a bigger ramp."
You can guess what happens next. I think for a few seconds, take a deep breath, and say, "Okay!" So I go, what I think is slow, carving toward the ramp. It isn't until I get to the base of the ramp that I realize that I am going faster than I think. Then suddenly, I am airborn, and that's when I freak out. My first instinct in snowboarding is always to sit down when I think I'm going to fall. That way I have control and it's safe to me. If I sit down, I know I'm not going to bang my head or break an arm or whatever. But, if you try and do that while in the air, it's not a good thing. My trying to sit down turned into just flinging myself backward, and I landed really hard on the flat of the landing on my back and got the wind knocked out of me. Yep. It hurt. Bad. Mark was watching from the top and was at my side in an instant, making sure I was okay. After he knew I was okay, he joked, "Man! You really went for that! I thought you were going to go slow!" Within a few minutes I was able to ride again and went down a few more times before they closed for the night. Even though I didn't go over any more jumps last night, I am pumped for the next time. I can totally see how flying high over those big jumps would be a ton of fun if you could land on your feet :). For now, though, I think I'll stick to the little ones.