This weekend, I did one of my absolute favorite things. I spent two days with my husband and my sisters and my good friend tearing up a mountain on my snowboard.
I've been riding since a few years ago, when I made a crack at my then-boyfriend (now-husband) that our favorite video game at the time looked like a lot of fun. We were really into playing SSX Tricky and other snowboarding race games on the PS2 back then. And suddenly, we were shopping for snow pants and making reservations for lessons.
My husband and his sister have both been skiing since they could stand on their own. I had never been to a ski resort. They laughed as I asked stupid question after stupid question. But all three of us were set to learn to snowboard, and at the last minute, so was their dad. That first day did not go well. Injury after injury landed my husband and his sister in the ER, and their dad sitting on pillows for months. They haven't been on a board since. I've been unwilling to get off.
It's been a few years, and last year I was starting to think I had crossed a mental block and was becoming pretty good at it. I was linking turns, going "fast" (I ride a short board for my height, I don't actually like going all that fast, but going fast for me), and doing run after run without falling. I felt pretty unstoppable.
Except for one thing.
On a day out on the slopes I would generally take 4 puffs of my rescue inhaler. A couple to start the day, knowing it would be necessary, and a couple more later on as the first two wore off. It wasn't a pretty scene. But I though, you know, it's just what I am.
But when talking to my trainer on that first consultation, he told me I shouldn't need to do that. He told me that I could get healthy enough to ride all day without needing my inhaler at all. And like everything else he told me, at first I didn't believe him. But over time I learned that I could exercise without my inhaler, and soon I could run without my inhaler.
A few weeks ago, I did a half-day on my board and didn't need my inhaler. It was a fabulous sign. Yesterday, I did a full day. I real, honest, full day. I mean, we took the last lift and the last shuttle back to the condo. It was a long day and I didn't even think about needing my inhaler. And I did it again today.
But it's better than that. With these 60-some pounds gone, I have less to carry around. Less to push up from the ground. Less to shuffle step. Less to whip into a turn. Just, less. And with these new muscles, I have tons more strength and conditioning to throw my body into what I'm doing.
Everything was easier.
I love snow.
I love snowboarding.
I love being healthy.