I come from a land that gets a decent amount of snow each winter. Sighisoara is roughly 2 hours away by car from some pretty good slopes, and yet, I have never skied or tried any other winter sports besides ice skating since I was able to move the right foot in front of the left one. I can’t tell you why this was. Perhaps because I never expressed an interest in it and most probably because skiing is a very expensive sport and my family could not afford it. But looking back on it now, the main reason must have been the fact that in Romania you are brought up to think that if you did not start-up a sport whilst you were very young, you will never be able to do it and why even bother, ever…
So my mind was set this way for many years. I was not able to do many things in life because I never picked it up whilst I was a child. And just like that, fear settled in… motionless it creeped into my subconsciuos and it started speaking to me in this annoying voice: You are not capable of playing a musical instrument because you have no musical ear, or you are not able to ride a horse because you need at least 100 private lessons and you can not afford them, or you are not able to be a stewardess and see the world because you are too short! So many imaginary obstacles… Thank God I finally grew up and learned in my own way, that yes, some things will always be out of my reach, but majority of the things that I dream of achieving are on the other side of ambitious, self-discipline and a willingness to not give up half way through obtaining that goal.
With this said, I would like to share that a year ago I had a very long list of things that I wanted to achieve in 2017, and one of those was snowboarding. Somehow this was made possible by ending up in Niseko, Japan alongside a bunch of crazy and extremely passionate people about snowboarding. Thanks to them I am now capable of coming down a mountain without falling on my face every other minute. Although snowboarding is a one man’s kinda sport, the main reason why I want to become better and better at it is so that I can join this awesome bunch in their backcountry experiences, I want to feel stoked that it has not stopped snowing for over a week and I can be the first one to cut down that fresh powder every morning. After all, I am living in the most amazing place on earth in terms of skiing conditions. Life has given me all that I need in order for me to pursue an old dream that seemed so far out of my reach, and I better make it happen
And yet, every time I get up on that mountain I have butterflies in my stomach, I am nervous that I might fall, that I am not picking up the sport as fast as I should, or that I might give it up before discovering its true beauty. Right at the beginning, my time spent on the piste was 10% wobbling along on the snowboard for a meter or two and 90% winging, falling on my ass, eating snow, cursing and most of all thinking that I will never pick this up because I never learned when I was a child. Plus, I am being completely ridiculous to think that one day I will climb Mount Yotei and snowboard down in it’s volcanic crater… Complete crazy fear talks…
25 hours on piste later, I am 100% positive: this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and my snowboard! The secret to this complete mind changer is non stop improvement and not giving up half way there.
The conclusion to this post is that I am 32 and I learned how to snowboard. Nothing is impossible and I can not wait to prove myself wrong about so many other myths that I have stored in my brain for far too long.
Keep riding on,