Winter in Michigan: Things to do; Snowboarding

When we came back to Michigan, we were tanned up, our blood had thinned out, and we were used to places that never get cold, where even at night the heat didn’t ease. Well, coming home was quite the shock, we had just been in Arizona, where it was in the eighties and seventies, cold for that time of year. When we got back here, we got out of the car, and my first thought is that I felt confined. I’d been used to wearing shorts and a tank top, flip-flops, or no shoes at all. Now I was wearing jeans, boots, jackets, sweaters, multiple layers, and had to buy hats and mittens when we got into Indiana on our way home. We had forgotten about bringing them, because well, we were heading to Florida, who thought we would need mittens and hats on the way home? Well, we were put in our places right then and there. I liked being home because of friends and family, but having missed the pretty autumn colors that came with the cold of Michigan, I was just pining away to go back south. We were going to have to get used to being cold once again. Of course, I had grown up with that weather, but having spent a good eight months getting used to being almost too hot, rather than cold, I had to get used to that feeling again.

When the snow came, and we moved into a smaller home, we were now cramped into a house half the size of our rental house. It was a life change for us, we were going to have to get used to living “In-each-other’s-business”. Instead of having room to space out, have quiet time, give each other space, we now all slept on the same floor, used the same bathroom, and our living space was all together, meaning quiet time, or privacy. We had to figure out something to do with our time, and something to give us time away from each other. With us trying to get used to Michigan, we had to find a way to keep us pining away for the warm weather. We came up with a game plan, we had to find something fun to do in the winter weather, something that would make us enjoy the snow.

Dad brought up the idea of a sport he used to enjoy, but since has become a dad and working, having a family, he’d been too busy to pick up. That sport was snowboarding. I’ve done snowboarding downhill, on a snowboard that we used down sledding hills for the fun of it, like maybe twice, but I’d been on one before. Now though we were going to have to learn how to actually stay on it, stop with it, steer, carve, and maybe in the future jump. For now, though, we had to lay down the basics.

My Dad was pretty good at it, and Miranda and I were first-timers. He was willing to teach us, so we went to the treetops resort for our first expedition. We had to rent the gear, boots, and snowboard. It’s cheaper to get a season pass than to pay for rentals every time you go, but for just trying it for the first time, or not having done it in a while, just paying for one day pass was the best option. We then hit the bunny hill, and it looks enormous. Not gonna lie, I was scared out of my mind. My dad decided to skip the part of teaching me how to stop, or I just didn’t care, but the first time down I might have fallen, well a lot. I learned how to lean into the sides of the board to steer, and I was able to make a right turn easily, just leaning on my toes and cutting into the snow. I led with my left foot forward, which my dad taught us to use. I find that my left foot leading the board was the easiest, especially when you unbuckle one foot from the board, and walk with one foot strapped in.

The problem about knowing only how to go right, or barrel downhill, is that when you try learning how to turn left, you fall and break your tailbone, or you land full face into the snow. Me being the adventurous person I am, I decide to try barreling downhill and just learn how to stop by trying it at breakneck speed. This didn’t work, and with a bruised tailbone and bruised everything, I learned how to turn left at high speed, and stop at high speed, after multiple times of snowboarding.

On our first visit, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I picked it all up very quickly, understanding how to steer and a little how-to stop, I mastered the trick of barreling downhill and praying that I didn’t die, that was my best bet! Miranda on the other hand found out that snowboarding just wasn’t her strong suit, and after just two hours, the bunny hill had proved itself the conqueror in the battle of domination. After the bunny hill experience, she denounced snowboarding for good. Well, my dad and I stuck to it, and we were snowboarding for hours, snowboarding even down more difficult hills. I loved the feeling of exhilaration when you are barreling down the hill, the wind blowing, the board flying over the snow, almost like your flying.

Thing was, I learned how to board on six inches of powder, which I thought was easier to control, have less momentum downhill. I come to find out snowboarding on hard snow with grooves is a whole other ball-park in itself.

Since being back, I became close friends with this girl named Mckayla. She’s pretty much my best friend now, and she was just learning how to snowboard as well. She invited me to come snowboarding at the Otsego resort, about ten minutes from where I live. My dad decided he should come along, and we went and met her and one of her friends. Getting there, the temperature was so cold, if your hands were out of your gloves for longer than twenty seconds, you might get frostbite! The sun was out, there was no power at all, it was was like a grooved sheet of ice. I thought it couldn’t be much different, my dad telling me I would get better and better each time I went boarding, so I went for it.

That was a mistake. The other two girls were newbies, and they were afraid to even start down the hill. I decided to show them how it was done and started barreling downhill, curving right, going through a bowl-like area between two hills. I curved up onto one of the embankments, came down right, then started curving left onto a separate trail, and when I did, I came hard on my butt, sliding a good ten feet.

Well, I might have bruised my tailbone on that fall! I learned my lesson, and I knew I needed to learn how to turn left, and learn to stop better. After that time, I went more and more, once every two weeks. The positive side to living in Michigan, and learning to snowboard, is that all my new friends go regularly to hang out, and so now I could hang out with them even more! It’s fun by myself of course, but having some friends my age there makes it even more enjoyable, even if you fall on your butt a lot.

I got better and better each time I went, and by my most recent visit, I can carve, which means to turn quickly left and right downhill, cutting into the snow, slowing you down. I also know how to stop quickly when going downhill, so now instead of falling on my butt, hoping I stop and don’t hurt myself too badly, I can just bring my board horizontally in front of me, and lean back on my heels, bringing me to a clean stop, without having minor injuries.

Since Miranda decided snowboarding wasn’t her thing, my dad and I have been going, just the two of us. It’s cheaper, and it gives us time to be together. Even though I miss having her there with me, I honestly do enjoy having quality time with him.

I love snowboarding now, and anyone thinking about getting into this sport should absolutely start. Not only is it something fun to pass the winter away, but it is something enjoyable to do with family and friends.

I hope you enjoyed this post on snowboarding! Thanks for reading more of our blog, and please continue to read. We love writing and keeping you updated and informed on our lives. Thanks again! – Sadie and the Singlers


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