First of all, I will start by introducing myself! My name is Lauren, I’m 22 years old, and I am normally studying at ACU Melbourne, in the process of completing my undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. At the moment, however, I am a senior in college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) – I still can’t quite wrap my head around that, even now!
Second of all, I am quite an outdoorsy person, with a keen interest in travel, too. So when I found out that UNCG had an Outdoor Adventures (OA) club, I was immediately interested! During orientation some representatives came to speak to us about the many and varying trips they do around the area for activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and even snow sport. I must say, I really wanted to do them all. However, the trip that piqued my interest the most was the skiing/snowboarding trip that took place on Saturday the 8th of February. The reason I was so interested in this particular trip was because in Australia we really don’t see a lot of snow around, and it is incredibly expensive to even spend one day on the slopes! For these reasons and many more, I had never been snowboarding or skiing before, and I was excited to give it a shot! I signed up for it on the spot, when the 8th could not have felt further away. However, as the old saying goes ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, and the day was suddenly upon us.
We had an early start of 6:15am as we wanted to get in a full day at the snow, and we were headed for Flat Top Mountain in West Virginia, which was nearly three hours drive away. Most people spent the bus ride sleeping, but I just couldn’t. I was too excited, and also a little nervous, about what the day would bring. When we were about 30 minutes from the mountain, it started to snow! It fell down all around us and looked just like someone had sifted icing sugar all over the world. It was incredible.
When we arrived we went through all the processes to get our gear – myself, as well as four others, had chosen snowboarding, and went together to get a free lesson on how to get started on the slopes. As the starting time of the lesson approached, I found myself getting more and more nervous – people had told me over and over how difficult it was to snowboard; and dangerous? Didn’t they say it was dangerous? These thoughts kept floating around in my head while we waited for the instructor.
In the end, my fear was for naught; our instructor was excellent and a lot of fun. We spend an hour with him learning the basics, and then were given free reign on the mountain. The lesson had challenged me physically and mentally. People were right, snowboarding is difficult, but it is so much fun! I spent the rest of the afternoon with my new snowboarding friends practicing our skills down the mountain, only to come in when we were told we had to, like children being called home for dinner. I ached all over, but I’d had the best day. Snowboarding was something I never thought I would get the opportunity to even try, and now I have given it a shot; I can’t wait to get back out on those slopes!