Dec 9, 2009: Challenge

Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

To be honest, 2009 has been a pretty good year for me.  To say that my greatest challenges have been lessons learned from positive challenges is a real blessing.  My challenge this year revolves around sport.  2009 marked the year that I challenged myself athetically in two significant ways.

1. January 2009- learned to snowboard. When I first went on the mountain after a brief 3 hour lesson, I was a bit cocky in what I believed I was able to do.  I began at the top of Whistler with Emily and Jeff, riding my board on its edge while experiencing significant thigh burn.  I fell down a few times, was met by the swooshes of Jeff and Emily who were both so forgiving and helpful.  On one fall, I laid on the wet snow, trying to turn my board over, while yelling out to both Jeff and Emily, in a very battle-like way, “Go on ahead!!  Don’t worry about me!  I will make it out eventually!!”  As I was still on my first run, Emily and Jeff passed overhead in the chairlift 3 separate times.  That meant that for every 3 runs they were completing, I was doing 1.

So, as is obvious, snowboarding didn’t exactly come naturally to me.  For Christmas Jeff bought me a one month worth of lessons at Grouse Mountain.  I went up to the mountain every Sunday morning in January, took my lesson, and boarded a few runs on my own.  One night Emily took me to Seymour Mountain to teach me how to turn and I can still hear her yelling “Doowwwwnnnn, HEEL! Dooowwwnnn TOE!”  By the first week in February I was able to show off my skills to Jeff and Emily at Whistler.  I had finally learned to turn, ride down the mountain, and save my burning thighs.  Thanks to Emily, Jeff and Grouse Mountain for helping me through my challenge!

2.  July 2009- Triathlon. In July of 2009 I competed in my first triathlon.  The competition was actually called “My First Triathlon”.  It was a short distance triathlon -minor in comparison to all of the triathlons I went to watch last summer, but for me it was my first, which meant it was big.  The night before the triathlon I was cranky.  Not because we were camping, or because there were bugs, or the fact that because I was in the triathlon the next morning I couldn’t have a beer around the campfire… I was cranky because I was SUPER nervous.  The swim was an open water lake swim and I was not comfortable with the cold water and the inability to see the bottom.  But, I knew I would get through it.  I managed to swim the course, coming out of the water in the first 15, hop on my bike (and cheer other racers on with my “i love my bike” bell), and complete the run with wobbly bike legs.  I’m not sure if I will do a triathlon again, but I was proud that I completed it.

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