We spent our first Christmas in Canada (2009) doing the most Canadian things you could imagine — winter sports on a mountain. Along with our family friends we braved the cold, suited up and took snowboarding lessons. Back then I chose snowboarding over skiing cause it was cooler, duh. We took our time on the bunny hill in the morning then joined the big kids on the slopes after, which in hindsight I wasn’t ready for. At one point when we were going down the slopes and I swerved too hard on a curve that I ended up falling on the hard ice. I thought I was completely paralyzed at that point, until I was forced to hop one-legged over to the side to let others pass down the mountain.
After that experience, I haven’t gone snowboarding since. Why would I pay $100+ to get all bruised up and possibly injure myself? I would much rather cuddle up on a cold winter day and watch movies for free (Netflix, wassup). I declined all invites from friends over the years, changed family plans, didn’t join ski/snowboard trips in school all because I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it.
Ever since I moved back to the Manila in 2017, it has crossed my mind that maybe I didn’t make the most of my time in Vancouver. There were still places I wanted to visit, restaurants to try, bars to check out, etc. So when I went on a last- minute trip to Vancouver 2 weeks ago, I made it my mission to tick off at least one thing the list. I went for the extreme and wanted to do a winter sport, the most Canadian thing I could do that couldn’t be done in the tropics.
Luckily, I was accompanied by my cousins who had more experience than me.
We drove up to Grouse Mountain on a snowy winter day, geared up and went skiing. The only thing in my head during the first few runs were “pIZZA PIZZA PIZZA!”, which is forming a shape of a pizza slice with your skis to slow down. It worked in my favour the first three runs down the bunny hill but I can tell you that method does not work when going down the bigger slopes. I basically tumbled my way down the slope, legs flailing, falling in all directions, fearing for my life. But when I got down, and I did eventually, I was up for hitting the slopes again (bunny, though).
As someone who’s a complete creature of habit, I was so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. It may have taken me 10 years to get my ass up the mountain but better late than never right? It was a nice reminder for myself to keep an open mind and not to limit myself to what I can and can’t do.