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Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-02-2004, 2:10 PM Reply   
A new season is upon us. There's no one more thankful than I am, that warmer days are coming up. There are people still riding in this "off-season," fine tuning their fundamental skills, and trying to acquire new ones. There are some of us though that have used this off-season as a way to get away from wakeboarding to try something new. Some took up snowboarding. Others tried their hand at snow skating. Either way, I know you're like me and completely looking forward to the upcoming season.

As I sit here suffering from Short-timer's Disease, I'm thinking about wakeboarding. (surprise, surprise) I'm thinking about the first time I set my feet in the bindings and thought, "I'm gonna kill myself!" On that first run, though, I was hooked. And from that time, aside from my son, wakeboarding has been my only passion. It was the most fun I had ever had on water! And the camaraderie, I found was amazing. It was amazing how one would push one another, from getting up the first time, to trying a raley! And everyone summed up wakeboarding the same way:

"There's nothing like being out on the boat w/ the best of friends."

After riding some of the winter of 2002-03, I realized that there was no way in hell I was going to ride during the winter of 03-04. I had to think of something to take its place, sort of speak. If you're familiar w/ Seattle winter, you know that skateboarding isn't much of an option, as skating in the rain isn't that fun. Snowboarding was the obvious choice.

I've gone snowboarding before. Not too often…maybe 4-5 times during the winters of '99 and '00. I totally sucked at it! So trying it for the first time this winter, I was a little worried. Worried that I was going to hurt myself. Worried that I wasn't going to have a good time. Worried that I wasn't going to have the patience to go through the learning process. Turns out, I was worried for nothing! On the first run down the hill (don't laugh, it was the bunny hill!), I was falling a lot. Midway through the run though, it seemed to just click! I was carving back and forth! Though I was still falling, I was able to carve back and forth comfortably. I went down the bunny hill again after the initial run, but that was the last I saw of that.

I did hurt myself, which so far, has ended my snowboarding season. Stupid me, I thought I could go off a big tabletop full speed and land it. Got off balance, put my hands out under me to break my fall…BOOM! Bye bye wrist! It's not bad…It's almost at 100%.

Inspite of getting hurt, I was totally stoked on snowboarding. It helped to get my mind off missing wakeboarding for a while. It didn't replace my passion for wakeboarding, but it was a good alternative.

With the warm days ahead of us (booo...6 weeks of winter left, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow), it's time to start thinking of goals for wakeboarding. Some of us have a long list of goals, whereas others will set to accomplish 1 or 2 things. There are those that will compete in local and national tournaments, and others riding to outdo their crew. Whatever the case may be, don't let go of the most important thing. Remember the reason why you kept doing it in the first place…because it's fun! Make that your #1 goal! Make that your riding partner's #1 goal! It not only makes the day a good one for you and your crew, but it also makes riding a lot more enjoyable. If you go out to try new tricks, and you let it get to you, it sometimes dampers other people's day. There's nothing wrong w/ trying new things. Just don't let it dictate your day of riding.

Yeah, I know this from experience. I used to beat myself up trying 360s…physically and mentally. I'd get so down about not stickin' it, that it affected the rest of my riding, and pretty much pissed off the rest of my crew. After coming to the realization that my attitude was bringing my riding down as well as pissin' people off, I just didn't let it get to me as much anymore. I had to keep in mind why I rode…because it's fun! If I was no longer having fun, I shouldn't be doing it! At that point, I kept a good attitude, whether I landed a new trick or not! Eventually, it helped my riding and stuck the 3!

So, needless to say, my goal this year is to have fun, each and every time out. I realize I'm not always going to land a new trick, or even land every trick I know each time I try them. But, I know my chances of landing new and old tricks are better if I don't put pressure on myself. Don't get me wrong. It's cool to set goals in your riding. Just don't make it the only point in riding. I'd like to set a goal in that I want to get all my tricks back. It'd be great if that happened. But, I'd be happy simply with just the opportunity to ride.

"There's nothing like being out on the boat w/ the best of friends."


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