Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Julz’s World: Falling For The Snow

I’ve come to the conclusion that snowboarders are crazy.

Every inch of my body aches from head to toe. Even the areas between my bruises are sore. My muscles ache so much I can barely lift my arms to get dressed in the morning. And I’m walking in such a peculiar fashion, I’m paranoid people are going to start gossiping about what I’ve been up to.

Yep, I decided to force myself to have a snowboard lesson before my last ounce of courage went the way of my co-ordination and balance and took flight completely. Skiing and snowboarding are so much a part of the Swiss culture, it’s socially unacceptable to admit you can’t do either. I finally got sick of people looking at me like I’d crawled from a sewer and arranged a day trip to Avoriaz in France.

Things appeared to get off to a good start when my friends and I were introduced to our instructor, a veritable Chippendale on a snowboard. The mountain itself was very picturesque but – gulp! – rather high.

I knew the second I strapped one timid foot into the snowboard that this was not going to be a successful outing. It felt so unnatural. Just walking was a mission and I looked far from glamorous with my legs twisted in different directions, my arms flailing around, my face contorted in frustration.

Secretly I pondered how long it would take before Chippendale man got fed up and gave up on the hopeless case before him. It didn’t take long.

“Why did you fall?” he demanded for the seventh time as I crawled on hands and knees across the snow (I couldn’t master standing up either). “Because I didn’t want to go fast!” I cried.

So began a rather tortuous pattern. I would snowboard one or two metres, start to turn, have a flash of panic at the thought of an uncontrolled high-speed fall, and instead collapse in a dramatic heap in the snow on purpose.

The dizzy blonde routine frustrated Chippendale man and he decided I wouldn’t be able to cope with the learner’s slope. The learner’s slope! He left me on the pathway and took my friends further up the mountain.

After pouting in feigned distress, vigorously brushing the icicles from my hair and glaring at anyone who dared look my way, I eventually trudged back up the pathway slope and decided to master the art of turning if it killed me.

Barely metres away a proud mother photographed a toddler on skis. The little tot sucked a dummy and posed quite happily. Then the mother announced it was time to start skiing and the baby began crying hysterically. I sympathise completely.

Mind you, I guess if I’d learned as a child I wouldn’t have this all-consuming fear of my legs snapping in half now. Even my instructor conceded he first had ski lessons when he was 18 months old, then moved onto snowboards at the age of 12.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore the mountains and I love the snow (especially when I’m sneaking it down friends’ shirts). I just think that if people were destined to go careering down mountainsides at high speed, we would have been born with boards instead of feet.

I guess the perfectionist in me just can’t cope with the concept of failing at something. Everyone says you need a few lessons before you adapt to snow boarding, but I have this niggling feeling I won’t learn the skill after 100 lessons. And rather than find out for sure, I’ve handed in my snowboard and decided to enjoy less adventurous pursuits. Like reading about the mountains. At least the only pain I can suffer from that is eyestrain.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news