This weekend, I went snowboarding for the first time in 3 years. Last time I snowboarded was in 2008, several months before we first started trying for a baby. I remember at the time thinking that I had better get to the mountain as much as I could, since that would be my last chance for a few years, as the following winter I would be pregnant, and then it would be a few more years before I could get out with the little one. Well, I was right in thinking that it would be a few years before I boarded again, but wrong about the reasons!
By the time winter of 2009 rolled around, I’d done such a good job of mentally preparing myself that I wouldn’t be in any state to snowboard, that even though we’d been trying for over 6 months with no luck and I was not the least bit pregnant, it didn’t bother me that I was going to be away on work trips as the same time as the two ski trips that my friends had organized and I didn’t push for any additional weekends away.
In 2010, my husband and I were away on sabbatical (during which we’d planned that I would be taking care of a baby that had never materialized), and had decided not to take our snowboarding gear with us, so again it was another year off.
By the time this season rolled around and my friends were again planning snowboarding weekends away, I really had no urge to go anymore, and was secretly relieved that we were not available for the first trip. Snowboarding had become one more reminder that my plans had not turned out as I’d hoped. I wasn’t a mother, and I wasn’t pregnant. If things had turned out as I’d wanted them to, going snowboarding would not even be an option, so in my mind, snowboarding had come to represent failure and broken dreams.
However, I had no good reason not to go this time, and my husband convinced me to give it a shot. Even as we were heading up on Friday night, I was already starting to feel some of the excitement I used to feel about a weekend on the slopes, and by the time we arrived at the condo our friends had rented, I was as pumped as everyone else. On Saturday morning, I re-discovered all the gear I had carefully purchased over the course of a few years, and the excitement continued to build as I got dressed.
I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to pick up where I left off 3 years ago, as last time I went I was just starting to feel comfortable, however after two trips down the bunny hill, I was back on the bigger runs and loving it! It felt so good to be outside, gliding down the mountain, that even the numerous falls did not bother me. Being out on the slopes again felt so familiar and so right that for one day my worries about the future got swept away.
I don’t know when I’ll get out snowboarding next but I’ve decided not to set any expectations about what my next outing will entail. In the meantime, I look forward to the day when I can share the joy of being out on the mountain with my children.