Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Snowboarding and Writing

Post by Laney Flanagan

The snow this week made me excited for the snowboarding season to start. For the first time in my snowboarding career I bought a season pass, which arrived in the mail a few days ago. Holding that pass in my hand, and watching the snow fall onto the made me want to get in my car and go up to the resorts and not come back for days.

The anticipation got me wondering what it was about snowboarding that had this pull on me. I knew I loved it, but why? As I stared at the snow outside, the answers became clear.

Snowboarding is my freedom. When I have my board clipped to my boots, my goggles snug on my head, and the snow falling around me, my problems seem to disappear. The world becomes just as it is, nothing more, nothing less. It's just me and my board against that mountain. And that is an amazing feeling.

When I'm standing at the top of the mountain, the world spread beneath me, I feel strong. I feel like I can do anything; everything becomes possible. Then when I start down that hill and my carving is perfect, and I'm just rolling without a care in the world, I feel like nothing can take me down.

The same can be true with writing. There are times when you are typing at your computer or writing in your notebook and suddenly, the world slips away and when you come back you realize just how much you had written. You look at all those words and feel like everything is falling into place and nothing can stop you. Like with snowboarding, there is also a freedom with writing. It can take you to places out of this world. And it lets you be yourself through and through.

But both can also have their challenges. I remember last year on a snowboarding trip, I had just started going to the terrain parks. The jumps were huge, and the railings were slick with ice. Honestly, it freaked me out. The sun had been out making the snow icy, but I didn't realize this. I sped up to a huge jump and flew through the air. For that one moment I was airborne. It was awesome! But then I hit the ground completely wrong. My board slipped and twisted me in a weird direction, pulling me into a cartwheel before I landed back in the snow. The pain was instant. My back hurt, my wrist hurt, and I couldn't breathe too well. I wanted to lie there all day. I did not, under any circumstances want to move. But I stood up, shook it off because I had to, and I kept boarding until the sun set.

Writing has the exact same sensation. Your sitting in front of that blank screen, the cursor blinking in front of you, and your mind refuses to work. But sometimes you have to shut out that inner critic, like I had to shut out the pain, and just start. It's painful and slow, but in the end you just have to. And when you do the words start to flow and before you know it you've written a novel.

I'm going snowboarding November 13th for the first time this season, and I cannot wait. And I'm going to try to have that outlook on writing too. I want to be just as excited to write as I am to snowboard. Because in the end, no matter the pain or the struggle, it will all be worth it.


Laney Flanagan is High School Junior from Polaris Expeditionary Learning School who loves snowboarding, writing and reading. 

14 comments:

Dean K Miller said...

Having given up winter mountain sports, it's nice to go with someone else and feel that smooth, gliding sensation of the powder snow.

I, too, hope to enjoy the same sensation of words weaving across my computer screen and feel the same elation and freedom you've laid out here.

Thanks, and happy track! (singular with the boarding...right?)

Michelle Mach said...

Nice post! It's good to be reminded of all the positive feelings we get from writing. It's all too easy to dwell on the negatives.

Still not convinced I should snowboard, however . . . :)

John Paul McKinney said...

Delaney, I really enjoyed reading this post. I know that feeling of freedom. I used to get it sailing a small catboat. Enjoy that trip coming up and the whole season.

Trai Cartwright said...

Nicely done, Laney. The connection between the two activities are deeply felt, and you conveyed that wonderfully. Makes me want to get back to roller blading, which was my snowboarding!

Rich Flanagan said...

I feel the same freedom when up on the hill. There is nothing like it, except flying. great story.

Todd Mitchell said...

Right on, Laney. Now I'm itching to go ride.

Sue Dorman said...

Great article, Delaney. Have fun on Nov. 13th.

Maggie said...

Fun and inspirational post, Laney. Thanks for throwing your inner writer out there for us:)

Lisa Gail Green said...

That was awesome! I felt like I was there with you. I am when it comes to writing. Thanks for the reminder about that great feeling!

silver haired bat said...

Great analogy. Almost makes me want to go snowboarding.
Grandma

Dianne K. Salerni said...

As a skier, I LOVE your comparison! I totally get the connection between snowboarding (in my case skiing) and writing.

Plus, I love the reflective time on the ski lift.

Laney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laney said...

Thank you all so much! It means a lot to me that you took the time to read and comment on my post. I'm glad I could influence you in just a small way. Anything that keeps me positive when writing the better.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

We're lucky to have passions in life especially when they leave us stimulated and refreshed. Loved it!
A. Kathy

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