When Failing is Winning: A Lesson on Snowboarding and More

February 5, 2015 VIP Guest Blogger

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Do you have a story to share? How do you live Skimbaco lifestyle of living life to the fullest? Have you tried something new for the first time lately? Tested your limits? We would love you to share your Skimbaco moments on Instagram by using #skimbaco. See the latest photos posted from our community here. Email to our editor-in-chief Katja Presnal if you want to write a guest post! Fittingly, our first guest post is about enjoying snowboarding in Colorado!

first time snowboarding by http://instagram.com/desmiller
Guest post by Desiree Miller, @desmiller on Instagram.

When Failing is Winning: A Lesson on Snowboarding and More

It was there on my backside, hands in the snow, feet locked into the snowboard, trying desperately to stand up one more time without instantly sliding down a mountainside to what I assumed could be a very dramatic death, that I realized maybe it was good for my son to see me as a failure for once.

My 20 year old and I were taking lessons together at Keystone Resort in Colorado, neither having touched a snowboard before, much less gliding gracefully down a mountain on one. I’d taken skiing lessons there the year before and picked up the basics pretty easily, so I thought this would be the same. I was wrong.
My son, who had never even been skiing, got up on the board as if he was born there.
Me. Not so much.

The magic carpet ride back up the practice mountain. @keystone_resort #KeystoneMoments

A photo posted by Desiree Miller (@desmiller) on

I knew what we were getting into. Before our trip, pretty much every friend I told about the lesson gave me the rundown of injuries from their first tries: broken tailbone, sprained wrist, fractured ankle. They pretty much had me petrified. One or two of them, though, who started when they were kids, said I’d love it.
They were partially right.
I loved the idea of it. After all, snowboarding is—in my opinion–for the really talented folks. The true athletes.

And I confirmed that to be correct in my first lesson, where just standing up was a challenge to my core. My instructor was patient and kind, helping hold the board in place. You’d think I would have no issues with his expertise and assistance. But on this day, I realized learning to snowboard at 45 is not the optimal age, at least not in my case.Each time I tried going from my butt to the standing position without kneeling in between, I cursed myself for not being more diligent with sit-ups and crunches in a regular workout routine.

I looked—and felt—like a stupid fool each time I struggled.
And I don’t like feeling stupid or foolish, especially in front of my son.
But, as I fell for what felt like the hundredth time, it hit me that maybe my child should see me struggle for once.
See, he was going through some struggles of his own recently, and he felt I couldn’t relate.

I whizzed through college in three years, graduating with honors, while he was struggling to stay off academic probation. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life anymore, while I always had a set path, with no doubt that I’d get there. Concerned over what was going on with him, I consulted with a therapist. They told me it would do him wonders to find a new hobby where he shined. Watching him two miles up on that mountainside, there was no doubt in my mind, this was it. He not only could stand up with no effort, or scoot back and forth, side to side in the snow, but he was inventing new moves that impressed even our instructor.

This kid can do anything. Crazy. #KeystoneMoments @keystone_resort

A video posted by Desiree Miller (@desmiller) on

And as I watched him, I gave myself the ok to sit back for a bit and accept my failure while acknowledging him in his glory, soaking up the sport.

Sure, it would have been great to be gliding beside him, selfishly, but it was probably better for him to see I can’t do it all. Not even close.
After a few hours, he walked away with a new passion. And I walked away grateful for this snowboarding lesson that taught us a lot more than the basics of balancing on a board.


Guest post by Desiree Miller. Desiree Miller is an award-winning freelance writer and vlogger who shares a daily dose of humor, hope and inspiration on her web site, StressFreeBaby.com and offers great getaways for readers on her newly launched site, 60SecondEscapes.com. She has four children and loves travel, tennis, dark chocolate, dancing and a good belly laugh. Desiree was named the top writer in the national ‘We Still Blog’ awards, ‘Atlanta’s Top Mom Blogger’ by WXIA, and is listed among the ‘Top 25 Southern Blogs’.
You can follow her on Twitter at @DesireeMiller and Instagram @desmiller, and find her also on YouTube and Pinterest.

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Comments (7)

  1. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go snow boarding but I’m so not athletic or outdoorsy…you’ve inspired me and it looks so beautiful out there! Great life lesson as well!

  2. I came to realise very early in the pice that snowboarding was for the kids! Good on you for realising the benefits your son would enjoy in achieving his snow boarding success without you!

  3. What a beautiful location Desiree. I’ve tried snowboarding too and felt the same way as you did, lot of fun but not so much progress though… and I love that magic carpet

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