Chris is Back on Board ๐Ÿ˜€

And we celebrated by hitting the slopes in June!

Better late than never ๐Ÿ™‚ Chris has been working impressively and inspirationally hard at regaining mobility and strength since he was injured earlier this year. We thought the snowboard season was lost, and the golf wasn’t looking too hopeful, either. Two of his greatest passions. But — plot twist — through hard work and guidance from great physical therapists, he’s gaining strength exponentially.

Our “weekend” is Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday night we were playing games and relaxing. I was browsing Facebook groups and saw that Killington (the “beast of the east”) had one run left open, and the lifts would run Thursday June 1. Our day off.

The ride was two hrs each way. Was it worth it? On a glorious bluebird day filled with freedom and great views along the drive? Oh yeah.

The boards came off the wall, and we headed out. It’s been a while since we had an impromptu date like this. Neither of us had ever been to the mountain so that in itself was an adventure. Chris once boarded in June on Father’s Day (June 10). But I had never done so. I was actually a bit unnerved about it. Kept feeling like I was forgetting something. (I think it was pants, haha).

The warnings on the website were clear. Expect rough conditions and note that it was an expert slope (lots of moguls (snow mounds)). Be prepared to walk over rough patches.

Game on.

My heart started beating faster as we drove closer. That spill of white down a mountainside just fills me with joy.

We saw cars lined up along the road but figured we’d drive as far as we could just to suss out what was going on. We passed lots of happy people — many with shorts and ski boots, swimsuits, picnics, camping equipment, etc. The party vibe was vibrant.

Crazily, we scored a parking space in front of the lift.

This was a brand new experience for us. We didn’t realize we had to purchase a ticket online then scan a barcode into a machine that dropped our ticket (like an airport check-in). Figured that out.

Then there was the equipment decision. Helmet and gloves with wrist guards built in? Or fly free? We chose safety. As you can see in this pic, there was something of everything — shorts, pants, helmets, bikinis, etc. I had wanted to wear my flowy skirt, but decided to go for an outfit with pockets instead.

Bikinis and shorts and ski boots.

Then we were off. A kind young gentleman took pics of us:

Friends, I have to tell you, I LOVE the slopes (no secret, I know), and I love that I can enjoy them for myself. But it’s soooo much better when my life partner is also my hill partner. I have greatly missed sharing slope experiences with him. And I have been mourning with him in his inability to embrace the beauty from lift to trip downhill. So this was a revival of the season worth celebrating.

I have to admit, I have never had to walk by so many sunbathers at the lift base. And I never had to carry my board over mud and through gates to strap in. That was unique!

Then I got to ride with the lift with Chris.

Okay. So here’s a secret. I thrive living life outside my comfort zone. It’s a love/hate thing for me since I’m also terrified of living life outside my comfort zone. Riding lifts at a new resort does both for me. What sort of slope will I have to ride? What are the conditions? At the top do I brace to go straight, right, left of middle? Will there be ice or a puddle in my path? Even on slopes I know, the variables always change.

Riding up I saw the areas I would be okay on and the ones I knew might be trouble. I tried to scope my path. The top? Still a mystery.

So yeah. Moguls. and that brown/grey around them? Could be ice or slush. With rocks in the middle sometimes. Love my board. Gotta keep it safe. Different skillz — gotta be ready for either and all.

Expounding further on the lift dismount… sometimes it’s really abrupt. Skiers are strapped in. We snowboarders get off a lift sideways and, by law, with one foot unstrapped. We have a split second to place that foot properly and balance for a sharp down-hill or narrow landing. One doesn’t know. This dismount was one I never experienced. It was flat. Had to start pushing fast to get out of the way of the next chair — actually, of OUR chair. lol. I kinda loved it. When there’s a sharp downhill I often wipe out, so I’m in favor of this.

Had to take some pics top-mountain. ‘Cuz those views do so much for the soul year-round when viewed on the Nest and other digital devices.

Chris snagged this pic of me, and it’s my new favorite. I kind of want to make it my Gravatar for everywhere because it’s my soul. Ready to drop down into a challenge, surrounded by a majestic beauty created by an obvious being so greater than me… A better image than my face. But I know Gravatars should show a face…

And then we dropped down.

I was easily the least experienced person on the hill. And Chris was regaining his board legs, and being very careful to not flail and exacerbate the pain in his shoulder (his injury left him within literal millimeters of surgery — borderline Type 3 AC separation) so he was going carefully.

People leapt and swirled around us but nobody gave us ‘tudes. I did the falling leaf most of the way (not trying to turn heel to toe — just staying on my heel). I regret that a bit. I know I can do toe. I wimped out. Life moves on…

About a third down, my momentum up a mogul aligned me for a landing I was not yet gifted enough to handle. So I landed, laughing, on my tuchus. (Deliberately did not wear white shorts in case that happened. Good choice). Getting up I overcompensated and landed on my stomach hugging a mogul. Gotta admit I deliberately stuck my face in and embraced it for a moment. The coolness felt soooooo good. Got a bit of a scrape — ice does that. Elbows and knees. I knew that might happen going in, but chose to not wear long pants or long sleeves. Oh well. Doesn’t hurt.

Earlier I linked to an article on physical therapy. We have great people helping us exercise to stay mobile. A few years ago I went because my spine is trying to fuse. I’m not in agreement of my body’s decision and am fighting it. Not gonna lie, though, bumpy riding hurts. And I forgot to pack my Advil. Chris is doing amazingly well, but baby steps — you know? One run was good. We were both hurting after. One run was enough.

Sandals and snowboard boots

We called it a day, put our sandals back on and watched people as we hydrated with our water we had brought.

This was a very unusual year. We had so much less snow than we usually have — yet I had my strongest season ever. 46 days on the hill (actually 47 — I had a dead battery the day I went to Bromley with my friend, Diane). And this is the first time I ever boarded after early April. So wow. I feel so blessed.

Now it’s back to dreaming.

As the temp in the car highlighted a 90 degree F (32.22 C) I reflected on how fortunate we were to have a day like that. And as we wended our way back home, I looked at our own hills and incredible memories of time on our home slopes with friends flashed through me. It was an amazing day. And there is no place like home.

Jiminy Peak in the spring

So that’s pretty much it for my post, but if you want to see what it took to make the day, and see what the vibe was really like, check these out:

5 responses to “Chris is Back on Board :D”

  1. I loved reading this! You inspire me. So happy for you two and tell Chris to get his golf game ready!

  2. So cool! Never even thought about skiing in June. Good for the both of you! You are one of the most adventurous people I know! <3

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