5 Simple Things That Snowboarding Has Taught Me

5 Simple Things That Snowboarding Has Taught Me

For those who have never snowboarded but always wonder what it might be like.

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Growing up in Oklahoma, I never got the privilege of being able to drive a few hours to a ski resort, board all day, then drive home that night. Now living in Arizona, I have that opportunity.

Someone might wonder.. "How do you snowboard in the desert?" Well, let me tell you. If you drive from Phoenix, AZ about two and a half hours north, you get to a super sweet mountain town called Flagstaff (also the location of Northern Arizona University). In Flagstaff, there is a ski resort called Snowbowl.

Snowbowl might not be the most extravagant or largest ski resorts ever but it is almost like another home to those of us that have a desire to glide down a mountain. The people are kind, the mountain is just the perfect size, and most of all not too cold like it would be in most other places because well... we are still in Arizona.

I have only been snowboarding for two years now but I feel like I have gained a lifetime of fun spending some weekends or day trips in Flag. So here are a few things I have learned already.

1. Things are NOT easy.

Granted snowboarding isn't very very difficult to learn and pick up (with the exception of those who are naturals and have been doing it since birth), but it is possible, if you try. The first time snowboarding, you spend more time on your butt wondering what you did wrong and thinking of how to fix It on your next run than you do actually up and riding. Fall after fall all you can think about it how the other people make it look so easy, why can't you? Getting back up every time after you fall seems to get harder. I know that it's cheesy and lame but it's true, these rules apply for life as well, not only snowboarding. It's hard to stay up on your two feet and sometimes even after taking a hit, staying down seems like an easier option. All of this being said, when you find your groove and you finally feel like you have a handle on things, you want to keep going, you want to keep riding. Suddenly you wonder why it was ever so hard for you to get up again in the first place.

2. YES, the mountains ARE even more intimidating when you're on a board but it makes you want to ride it even more.

Once you get off the ski lift and glide over to the top of a run, strap your other foot into your bindings, and stare down the mountain you're about to conquer... your heart stops. Just the thought that one wrong move or the way you turn could result in an injury is scary. The mountain is huge, it's massive, there is something about it that just wants to make you go! You think about how time and time again people have ridden this run or gone down the same path as you, so you want to accomplish the same thing they did before you. Once you get to the bottom where you can reload onto the lifts, you unbind and stare back up, you think about the beast of a landform that you can handle, that you actually have a grip on, and it feels good.

3. Snowboarding is one of the most BEAUTIFUL sports.

I never realized how amazing and therapeutic something like this could be. Not only is the scenery amazing and breathtaking, obviously. But something about it being you, your board, and your mountain can just clear your mind. Riding the run or trail you're on and not even having to think about your next move is something impossible to explain unless you've done it yourself. Your mind is blank and you're just in the moment enjoying life. It's not very often that we get to do that anymore. In other sports you must constantly be thinking, what's my next move, how can I help my teammates, listening to a coach yelling. But snowboarding is just you, there and in the moment.

4. It's all for fun.

Nobody on the mountain is there to judge. Everyone boarding or even skiing are there for the same purpose... enjoy the day. There have been times where I felt intimidated by others more seasoned than me on the mountainsides, but I then think to myself, they started where I was at one point also. Most of the time, the people are kind and want to help you better yourself and your skills so that you can ball out just as much as they are! Snowboarding while an individual activity, is somewhat a team or community. Everyone is there to uplift each other and congratulate each other when they do well. We all do it for fun.

5. AWESOME picture opportunities are on top of those mountains too!

We all know that as a college sorority girl, pictures are necessary when on adventures like ones of snowboarding. The beautiful skies in the back, your cure ski goggles, and of course your board make it almost impossible to not snag a picture right before you tear down the side of a mountain! ;)

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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