Athletic Age.

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Snowboarder-Crash-and-Burn

The Evil Spawn is 10.  I am not.

This has never been more apparent to me than when my face slammed into the earth as we were learning to snowboard (you may have heard my girl-like screams and crying earlier this morning).

I graduated from high school over 25 years ago.

I have t-shirts from the late 1980’s.

I remember when David Lee Roth had good hair (side note… Van Halen is getting back together… are you listening Guns N’ Roses?).

I know who was President before Ronald Reagan.

I shouldn’t be learning to snowboard.

I shouldn’t be snowboarding even if I knew how.

Which I don’t.

Which was very apparent to the high school kid who was kind enough to give us lessons.

He was very polite.  He even called me “Sir”.

And he helped me up the first time I fell.

Which was when I was trying to strap my boots into the fiberglass piece of death I was supposed to slide down the mountain on.

He also helped me the second time I fell.

After that his interest in my safety seemed to wane.

As I add up my injuries, I seem to have a slight concussion, a bruised tailbone, and some sort of thigh injury that will no doubt get worse as the swelling goes down and the Advil wears off.

Through the grace of God, my fingers seem to be okay which allows me to share this horrific and humiliating experience with blog readers around the globe.

On my last trip on the ski lift, I not only feared for the safety of the people in front of me, but also the 5-year old girl behind me who had no idea she was about to crash into an old man laying face down in the snow in the next 45 seconds.

During the few seconds of reflection I had before doing a face first plant into a snow bank, it occurred to me that my real age isn’t 44 (I also want to take a second to apologize to Ashleigh, the kindergartner I traumatized.  I’m almost certain she has stopped crying by now).

I have no idea what it really is, but I now have a better understanding of my athletic age.

I’m not 16 anymore.  Or 26.  Or even 36.

I’m at least 44.  Probably older. 

Much older.

This may not seem that old, but you don’t see many 44 year olds in the Olympics do you?

I enjoyed snowboarding, although I’m not sure why they just don’t call it falling.

I have come to realize, I can no longer choose my athletic endeavors based on fun, excitement, or conquering new challenges.

I first have to consider rehabilitation time and if my health insurance deductible covers any possible disfigurement.

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3 Responses to “Athletic Age.”


  1. Alfred Thompson
    on Dec 27th, 2011
    @ 7:27 pm

    I was older than you when I learned to ride a snowboard. My son taught me. I figured that since he was a special education teacher at the time he would be good and patient. And he was. His teaching style was a lot like how I taught him to ski many years ago when he was not yet in double digits in age. Humbling. The first day I kept riding into the barrel at the top of the lift that held a sign that said “don’t stop before you get here.” After about the 5th time I hit it the kid working the top of the lift saw me coming and ran out the save the barrel. Humbling. At least he was laughing. I’ve 58 now and ride a lot better than I first did. I hit fewer barrels and do fewer face plants. It’s a lot of fun. You’ll get there if you keep it up. And remember the biggest advantages snow boarding has over skiing is that it is common practice to pull over to the side of the trail and sit down. Much easier than sitting with skiis on. Trust me. And if the kids are doing it (and they are) that makes it acceptable for older people.


  2. Michelle Howell-Martin
    on Dec 28th, 2011
    @ 7:02 am

    You are a brave, brave man!


  3. Angel Read
    on Dec 29th, 2011
    @ 3:29 pm

    You’re braver than me, just for trying! I once saw my stepbrother go down the hill upside down on his head… he flipped over somehow and BOUNCED down the hill with his head where his feet should have been! I went down the hill after him (on a little kid’s sled) and thought I’d find him dead down there! But he was fine… and I will never try it!!!

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