I’ve discovered snowboarding. Yes, at 34 years old. I had to borrow my wife’s purple snowpants, but it was still fun. No one laughed (in my face). The beginner’s class at the local ski hill was packed with middle-aged cool wannabes like me – some in better shape than others. Our 12-year-old instructor instilled great confidence as we took the quad lift to the top of the hill. I was almost creamed by a snowplowing toddler, and then I smacked into this cute blond Australian girl. But after a half-hour of instruction, I hit my stride, and had a great time! At one point I caught myself humming Beach Boys surf songs as I glided down. Then I hit the snowmaking machine thingie. Good thing it was padded. A moment later I was singing again. With both feet strapped to the board, the slightest move of the feet has a profound effect on direction and speed. It doesn’t take much effort to gather speed, and there’s only one way to stop.
There’s something remarkably liberating about being thrown head first into a snow bank, or flat on your ass at high speed. Two days later, I’m feeling no pain and am proud that my body can still take a beating. The only casualty of the day was my bank card, which was in my hip pocket. It was smashed into three pieces.
Take a snowboarding lesson at Camp Fortune, in Gatineau Park.