Friday, January 11, 2008

Michael Cheats a Day....

Okay, I'll spill the beans — I took yesterday off and went snowboarding wihtth my Sweetie at Copper Mountain. Well, I went snowboarding...she's a skier...sigh...nobody's perfect! It was a great day, largely by a fortuitous accident.

For the last five years, I've been riding in Raichle hard boots (like ski boots) — a necessity after I splintered three of the bones across the top of my left foot in a pretty spectacular crash — on steel plate blindings. I used them on a stiff "carve board," that is, a board designed to carve like a ski. It's just this side of a dedicated race board. The board/binding/boot combo are as stiff as, well, a board and requires an aggressive, physical style of snowboarding. A day on the slopes left me exhausted.

Parenthetically, I've noticed that over the last few years I've spent less and less time on the board...strange, since I live in a town with its own ski resort and it's exactly 10 minutes from my office chair to the base of the "A" lift. No particular reason...just less and less it seemed worth the effort.

Yesterday we got to Copper, started putting on the gear and I discovered one of my boots was busted, which I hadn't noticed when I pulled the gear out. In a snit, I stalked over to the equipment rental place and rented a basic soft boot/ratchet binding snowboarding rig for the day. After the first run, my Sweetie said, "You look great...smooth!" And heck, I was smooth...the board seemed to flow down the mountain without me working nearly as hard. Instead of pounding down the mountain with Led Zep's "Been a Long Time" on the mental sundtrack, it was more of a Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" the end of the day, I was exhilerated and not beat all to crap...apparently I'd refound something I wasn't aware that I'd lost.

Always good! For the rest of this year, I'll spend time in soft boots and figure out what IU loved about the sport in the first place.