Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road


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My first winter in Kyrgyzstan was the coldest winter I have ever experienced. There was ice everywhere and you could never stay warm no matter where you went. That winter my friend asked me if I liked to snowboard. I had never tried. He told me that it was easy and that he could teach me. I didn’t want to go so I refused his offer. But he asked me again and again all week from that point. Each time I refused. I talked to my wife about trying it out every day. I eventually caved in and told my friend that I would go with him and his friends.

The day before we went snowboarding we rented snowboarding gear. I kept thinking to myself that I was crazy for going. After we got our gear ready we made plans to leave the city the next day. I fell asleep nervous. The next day we left early. It was me and 5 other guys. The ski lift is not far from the city so we arrived less than 30 minutes from departure. We strapped on our gear and set off toward the ski lift.

Near the lift was a small hill to do warm-ups. I looked at my friend and told him to instruct me. “Snowboarding is something that can’t really be taught, you just have to do it and figure it out”, he told me. I looked at him with the deepest confusion. Great, now I have to teach myself! I had never attempted snowboarding so I was utterly helpless. The other guys helped me on my feet once I had the board strapped on. I fell immediately after standing and sliding 3 feet. I was able to get myself up the second time and I pulled myself forward. It was going. I was amazed at my attempt to stay on my feet and I felt a small amount of satisfaction. I slid down about 25 feet and I fell again. But this time I could not stop. My body rotated the opposite direction my feet were going. I twisted my body horrendously and then I heard a pop in my knee and I had a searing pain in my right ankle.

I stopped. I cried out in tremendous pain as I unstrapped my board. Two of the five guys roused me. I realized that my knee had no pain but my ankle was in the worst pain possible. I could not stand for more than a second on my own. The guys helped me to the cabin café up a long trail of stairs. Every step felt like my ankle was being stabbed with needles. They sat me in the cabin and left. I felt so much pain I could barely move an inch. I helplessly sat in the café the rest of the day in pain. My, what a great experience.

So do I ski or snowboard? No. Have I tried since then? No.

One thought on “Snowboarding

  1. Oh Derek, that makes my ankle hurt just thinking about it. Alex had a near death experience trying to ski in Kazakhstan. He could tell you how many times he fell exactly and that was 2 years ago, haha, he hasn’t tried again since. I would suggest skiing because I feel like its much easier to learn but harder to master, whereas snowboarding is said to be the opposite. Harder to learn, easier to master. Bottom line is, you must have someone instruct you to do either or. Sorry friend. Is the ankle okay?


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