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.
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.
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.