Rough Sledding

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

Is there anything better in life than spending a snowy day sledding with your friends?

Sunday I took a car-load of kids to the sledding hills for a fun-packed day on the big slopes.  Other parents were there on top of the hill-- pushing, picking up, holding onto, and watching their kids have the time of their lives.  Like Julie and me, most took the random opportunity to hop on and go down like we were 9 again.  Catch some air or wipe out, it was the most fun I've had in awhile and it being with my family plus my niece and nephew and some other friends, made it that much better.

Of course, we brought a few snowboards, but they were all kid size-- but one was usable for an adult.  Uh huh.  I hopped on and started practicing, trying to get back the form I had when I was 14.  I almost turned pro back then, but decided the fortune and fame of the life of a pro snowboarder wasn't practical for an 8th grader.*  After finding my form, I tried the steepest slope that ended with a hill before some woods.  No problem.  I did it once more and even got some style points from Jules.  Then right before we were all headed out, I decided I couldn't possibly leave without trying to go over the big jump.  I took off and immediately realized this side was much slicker than the others, i.e. I was going way too fast.  No problem.  Just don't try anything fancy just catch some air and ride it all the way down.  I hit the jump and the board immediately went one way and my feet went the other.  I remember thinking, "Why haven't my feet touched the ground yet?"  That's when my face and shoulder slammed the snow.  THUD!  If I had any air in my lungs I would have told the punk kid laughing that I meant to do that.  I have no problem wiping out to the amusement of others, unless it's caught on tape.  I was.  To my right was Jules, who'd grabbed the camera for a group photo.  I stumbled over to her laughter.  "Got that on tape," she laughed.  "Great."  (There is a small chance I'll post it here if I figure it out, so check back in the coming days.)

I may take the kids back this weekend I had so much fun.  But, I don't think I'll go all X-Games because, as I explained to my daughter, when you're 5 and you spend the day falling down a hill you go home and get extra marshmallows in your hot chocolate.  When you're 34, you go home and get extra Ben Gay and a handful of Alleve.

*The actual limitation that held me back from pro snowboarding was my inability to stay upright for more than 5 seconds.

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