Buying secondhand is not a gamble but it is a game for the educated and in this case I was not educated enough. What seemed to be a harmless replacement for my lost goggles turned out to be a nightmare of not-fun-making proportions as I realized, on the mountain, I needed new lens for the goggles; out in the wilderness, no such luck. Genuinely I felt thunderstruck I wasn’t able to discern the defect when I bought them off a fellow student. I was mad; but I took them home, scrubbed them with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and I could finally see out of them, albeit they were no longer mirrored (but that does absolutely nothing for vision, in my opinion; it just looks cool.) Finally, they had not fit over my glasses anyhow (a problem I didn’t realize was not my old pair of goggles’ fault, but the simple construction of glasses; even the frameless ones have arms that don’t want to be compatible with any goggles. Eschew warnings of eye damage; I had lived without sunglasses or goggles all my life, and this vain attempt to start was lost on me. Like I said, it’s close scrapes and dirty escapes, not even an illusion of close escapes and dirty scrapes.

Which brings me to my current situation; bailing out the cost by selling unnecessary material. I had been quite keen on a jacket and jumped on it; a pink confection, I pondered whether I had bought it because of my gender, or because I truly liked it. I, at the time, thought I was finally mature enough to fully embrace my femininity even in snowboarding, the once place I traditionally held as no man’s land for female signifiers. Now it’s gone, before I even had the chance to switch to wearing it; I breathe a sigh of relief; no matter the color, having an extra option of jacket made my head spin in this world of choice.

Here are some random stuff I want to spend money on winter sport wise: a guided luge; alpine skis; goggles that work with my glasses; shell pants; a lift ticket to another resort. Here are things I don’t agree with: baggy heavy insulated pants are not only ridiculous for our weather, they get in the way of snowboarding; skiing is harder than snowboarding; $150 is not too much to pay to be hurtled down an ice tunnel in which you would never have the skill to survive otherwise. Skydiving, however, seems utterly stupid, but mostly the cost per experience. Something like a guided bobsleigh would imitate my feelings for snowboarding (hurtling down at fast speeds) but were skydiving fun, I’d only itch to feel it again and again and be miserable because who can always fork out $X to skydive? Plus, there are so many other fun things I would do before that. Even if money were not an object I would not put skydiving on the top of my list. So many things.

Here are some things I know I’m not ready for: a splitboard  (skill, above all, is needed.) High adventure awaits those who do, but also only those who have the skill to harness it. I learned that on my three non lift assisted ski trips, watching but only yearning as I looked at slopes that invited the eye but not the body as it turned, in fear, from the unsurmountable snow.

So when I bought that pink jacket, I perhaps was buying it because of my gender, and not my aspirations. To fit in and not only to stand out. I feel mixed but in honestly it’s good it’s gone. I shall not spend more, extra, wasted thought on my femininity while I enjoy the single most enjoyable aspect of snowboarding, which is the ride. Yeah, I’m not going to give up the goggles without a fight; they look nice; they cut glare amazingly; they’ll look good when I care, but also perform when I don’t. My board, my boots, nothing else needs to be replaced. There’s a delicate balance between having fun and enhancing the fun of the sport and having some fantasy goal supplanting the initial excitement of it. I wrote a journal entry the last time I snowboarded, just like the girl in my snowcave wrote a “poem from a snowcave” while inside the snow cave. There is something elemental about enjoying the love that comes from a lack of outside influence and I’m so glad that I feel it. If someone can accept me without the pink jacket and I can accept myself without a pink jacket, then I’ll know I’ve reached a point where the sport is good for me. I’ll know that even when snowboarding is not popular I’ve invented something for myself, but I’ll also be following the trend set out by the dedicated populace, so I can exist without even while I am existing within. I can be me, however I am seen: and this has always been important for all of time in any race and any person-and never mattered in the end at all.

There are some things that sound extremely exciting to me. Bobsleigh or skeleton. There are some things that I have no interest in trying. Skydiving. No thanks. I don’t like to free fall. I do like speed though. I love speed. This is why today’s supposedly gross thinly-frosted fresh groomers were amazing. I had heard “fresh pow” for so long during the summer I had forgotten all the other wonderful types of snow that make getting out early worth going for. I love these speed inducing but safe snow conditions, with a hair more bite than ice.

Looking at the trail maps now I notice that the area I thought I went out of bounds was a run, although it was out of bounds because it wasn’t officially opened. To my chagrin another black tree run was open today but I didn’t know due to my lack of experience with the mountain’s tree runs. But as I wrote midday, absolutely happy with the snow and view, it’s not the difficulty or number or speed of your runs that makes snowboarding good. It’s the feeling that first attracted you to snowboarding that makes a run good. Today with enough snow to ride some things on the side, and fresh from skiing (god, that’s awkward-your body keeps trying to face forward while falling on your snowboard), and jawdropping views (how often is it clear here? Never) I neither was amazing, horrible, or anything. I was just me, and I felt deep in me the childish joy that drew me to the activity in the first place, that was an essential part of me, and the uncomplicated joy of movement that has nothing to do with anybody seeing you (in fact, I didn’t really want anyone catching me in the silly act of enjoying a simple turn or ride up snow so much.) In a well connected world, it was a private moment of joy that I wanted to enjoy myself. In fact it made it better that my parents were extremely angry I had gone snowboarding. No one was going to ask me about it except people who really cared. Great.

I cannot stress how nice it was to ride privately, because for once I could ride not just to pay off my seasons’ pass, but to actually ride. No one was going to care how fast or slow I went, or how many runs I went on, or whether or not I hit any features; I could do whatever I want like I did last season. Luckily for me, I did go into the park for the first time by myself this season, something I took a long time to warm up against. I was in a lazy daze and going into the park seemed to be the antithesis of the joy I was currently experiencing. But although the feeling of rolling snow was great, the joy of flight called and I went in. Well, first I had 2 large cookies and a thing of latte. The anxiety was getting back to me and I needed to tamp it down, and somehow caffeine gave me the precision and lack of fear I had misplaced. Feeling more like myself, I finally got to feel the joy of running the full length of a ride-on box again. Nothing difficult, very simple really, but I had been missing the component of fearlessness (which is normal). It is quite difficult to describe how I realized I no longer had a natural state of comfort but somehow ingesting certain things would give me it back for a short while, but anyhow it worked and I went on the box 5X but never fully hit the shortest, lowest, flattest rail in existence of humanity. I need myself to do that, not just coffee.  Oh how exhilarating it is to be going with almost no control of one’s speed down the mountain after having one’s senses sharpened back to normal! That was what drew me to snowboarding, speed nearing the loss of control, and ultimate control, such as in the case of terrain parks.


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