Fresh Powder, Brah

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Boy, have I missed blogging the past five days! I’ve been receiving update emails from my favorite bloggers, and I felt so behind on posting! So full of new ideas! I haven’t been sitting on my bum for five days, though. No sir.

On Thursday, most of the great state of Virginia got dumped a surprising amount of heavy, wet snow. The kind that falls in huge, fat flakes, and that makes driving (and attempting to go anywhere near a grocery store) treacherous. I truly thought that the previous week’s 60-degree temps would have made the ground far too warm for snow to stick or accumulate, but it turns out that my logic is every bit as unpredictable as VA’s weather patterns.

My dad and I took full advantage of the only substantial “fresh powder” Charlottesville has had all winter by skiing at Wintergreen Resort. Well, he skis; I snowboard 😉 Anyway, I was rushing around like a mad woman in the days preceding this ski trip in order to succinctly pack 6.5 weeks’ worth of clothes, Christmas gifts, acquired add-ons, and stuff that had been slowly and sneakily taking over every square inch of my room at home. I knew that when we got home from 4 hours of driving, 4 hours on the slopes, and more than a little anxiety and adrenaline over the impending “blizzard” predicted for the state, I wouldn’t want to do anything but pour myself into bed. Check.

There is nothing in this world quite like the feeling of flying down a mountain at what feels like Mach-3, the wind whistling in my ears, snowflakes being sucked past me, gliding over hills and valleys, dodging flags and fence posts, hearing the crunch of snow beneath my board when I finally spray-snow-to-a-halt at the orange flags approaching the lift. It literally feels like I am defying death, defying everything that seems humanly possible with regard to speed and balance and precision. My knees burn, my fingers tingle, my lips are so chapped they feel like they’re not a part of my face, and my heart races. Snowboarding is one of the most incredible things I’ve learned.

I must admit, I have spent so much time learning to snowboard and working on my technique on icy, synthetic snow that I didn’t quite know how to handle the real deal. I’m not fond of the words “I can’t” in the context of what I am physically capable of accomplishing, but there were multiple runs down the mountain when I literally could not move my board forward an inch. Twice, I ended up unbuckling my ratchets and walking the rest of the way to the lift. [If you’ve ever seen a snowboarder walk attached to his/her board, it is as exceedingly uncomfortable as it looks to walk with one leg twisted 90 degrees toward the other.] Sometimes, I fell in pockets of powder so deep, the drifts came up to my knees and the snow covered my board, making it impossible to gather momentum. Some of the slopes Dad and I are accustomed to skiing weren’t open because the resort hadn’t been able to blow or retain enough snow to cover the grass. No matter — Mike and I tore it up!

There were pros to it snowing while we were skiing, too. (Aside from the beauty of fresh, clean, white snow. I’ll always be in awe.) When I wiped, the fresh snow was refreshingly cushiony; I’m used to bruised hips and swollen knees and tender wrists after a boarding trip on icy slopes. I boarded off the lift successfully every single time. Because the weather wasn’t looking good for the mountain, there was hardly anyone at the resort. I’m sure it’s overrun right now, though, with it being a holiday weekend. Perhaps best of all, I measurably discovered how much more in shape I am than when we skied last year! Usually my entire body is sore for days afterward, but this time I just experienced some stiffness in my upper arms and my thighs. I was also impressed that we stayed on the slopes for the entirety of our four-hour lift ticket, with the exception of a quick Gatorade-and-granola-bar break. We’ve still got it, Dad 😉 I wish I’d had a way to record photos and the miles traveled via boarding for my 2,013 in 2013 goal, but alas, my personal bank of athletic equipment isn’t that advanced.

Another reason I haven’t blogged is that I’ve been at Ian’s family’s home in Roanoke since Friday evening. We’ve been car-shopping for him most of the weekend. It is one of the strangest feelings in the world to be browsing for a “family-friendly vehicle” at 24 years old. [Let me clarify that we have no intention of needing Ian’s new car to be family-friendly within the next few years. But when we do require such a car, because mine is not, we won’t be able to afford to buy a whole ‘nother one.] We’ve also been working a little bit on the wedding-planning agenda with Bonnie, my future mother-in-law. I was really excited to show her all of the material I’ve been gathering and the research Ian and I have done; my mom and I have done a lot of tossing ideas around, and I didn’t for one minute want Bonnie not to feel a part of it all.

Lastly — and honestly, depressingly — graduate classes resume tomorrow evening. Yep. I have class on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Guess that’s part of the total private-school package. I’ve been prepping as much as possible for the start of the semester, but mentally I’m not in the game yet. However, regular blogging, regular workouts, and regular clean-eating resume tomorrow (woooohoooo!).

Well, it’s dinner time between football games, so catch ya later, blends!

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