Feb
23
2003

In Pain

Categories: Snowboarding

It’s like an explosion each time I roll over. The pain, it’s delicate dynamite strapped to my shoulder. The slightest breeze will set it off.

But it’s a good kind of pain. Sure is. A good kind of pain.

Hopefully, if I keep telling myself that, sooner or later I’ll believe it.

This pain comes from snowboarding. It was my first time at Kirkwood (Lake Tahoe, CA), and it was my first time on a blue (intermediate) slope. Kirkwood and blue slope virgin was I. And my deflowering came at a price; no blood, luckily, but lots of pain.

There was no fresh snow on the ground, only ice and a brush of man-made fluff. On some parts, it was like snowboarding down concrete.

As I plowed down the mountain, a trail of shaved ice followed me. Add some lemon syrup, and I would have had a tasty treat.

Plowing was the only way I could skim down the slope at a speed I was comfortable with. Any faster and I was sure to shoot back in time.

Naturally, I fell. Lots.

I fell on my ass and spun both clockwise and counter-clockwise, bathing myself in shaved ice and vertigo. I must have been an impressive sight. It must have been like a white whirlwind with two feet attached to a snowboard sticking out of it.

I fell face-forward and plowed with my chin. Fortunately, my peach-fuzz goatee gave me some much needed traction to slow the decent. Otherwise, my face would have looked like a scoop of ice cream with ears.

I fell back and dribbled my head like a basketball on the ice. I could have sworn I heard sneakers squeaking and someone yelling, “Slam dunk it! Slam dunk it!” After standing up, I wasn’t sure if my head rush was from getting up too quickly, the thin air pressure, or the fact that my brain had just been shaken up like one of those miniature snow scenes in a glass ball.

Somewhere along the slope I fell hard on my shoulder. I quite don’t remember when it was, but the hot searing pain is a pretty good indication that my arm had twisted into an angle a contortionist would be proud of. I held onto my shoulder and insisted to my friends that my elbow was killing me. “Your, uh, elbow? But you’re holding on to your shoulder dude.”

I blame the invisible basketball players for this state of brain activity.

But despite it all, I still had fun. Kirkwood and blue slope virgin no more. The exhilaration of speed mixed with the adrenalin that came from looking down a mountain of ice and being scared shitless was hella fun. Pain is all part of the game for a thrill seeker.

So that’s why this is a good kind of pain. Yea, I believe it now. Sure I do.

Now pardon me while I chug this bottle of Advil.

. . .

Does snowboarding kick your ass like it kicks mine?

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