1998 Nagano, Japan, snowboarding is introduced to the Winter Olympics. It has been a competitive sport since 1968, but was now globally recognized as one of the coolest sports ever made. Ever since I was a small child, I’ve wanted to learn how to snowboard, and finally, in my 20’s, I am learning how.

Having a board strapped to your feet sounds like a dream to someone who only has experience long boarding and skating. Someone who doesn’t know better. Someone like me.

As it turns out it’s much harder than it looks.

I wasn’t completely lost, but I was far from being good. Having to balance on a board, and shifting your weight were the only familiar feelings. Even the feeling of falling was new. I took some hard falls. So hard that I could still feel them days after.

Confidence is key, was the biggest take away for me. If you didn’t have the “I can” confidence before you attempt to Bomb (ride down) a hill you will fail. With that being said there is no reason to be afraid of anything. Big hills shouldn't intimidate you, when you fall, although it may hurt for a second, you will survive, and it's really not as bad as you think. There is so much adrenaline coursing through your veins, you hardly notice that you fell.

The feeling of your board carving atop the snow sending it into a giant wave is unmatched. The accomplishment you feel at the bottom of the mountain from making it through somewhere you never thought possible is intoxicating. This sport is truly so rewarding, the takeaways are very much worth more than all the bruises.

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