Up the Mountain

Day 1
we were told that Malcolm could try out the Cristal class
an intermediate class meant for kids 6 years old and above

After the first lesson
they told us that Malcolm is a bit too young
They will let him join the younger group instead

He was a bit disappointed as he thought the Day 1 class was really fun
He liked the instructor and she taught him things that he never learned

Day 2
he joined a new class
and went up a green slope using a T-bar lift which I never learned how to do

While up the mountain
My husband noticed a kid waving frantically at him
signaling anxiously
‘LOOK Daddy! I AM HERE!’

My husband was in shock and disbelief
Our boy was not with the beginner group
It was not a green nor a blue
It was a RED run
and it was only Day 3!

And why did I ever think that he would need mummy dearest to protect him
I should be glad that he doesn’t bark at me to keep up with him!



I chickened out from the intermediate class this time for I can’t imagine calling myself an intermediate boarder when I can’t do my regular turns smoothly. Looking at all the young punks in my intermediate class did intimidate me. A LOT. I remembered how my last lesson had proven that Agility is inversely related to Age. The 10 year old in my last class was the one who needed the LEAST help and could maneuver the BEST!

I ended up with the beginner group, yet another group of young punks. In my opinion, the instructor was expecting more than beginner basics from the group. The pace was fast and as what I suspected, most of them had tried snowboarding before. And because the class was going at such a fast pace. the real beginners eventually suffered. By Day 3, 3 of the older guys in the class were out, reason for, they were too much of a beginner.

So there I was, fully decked out in my gear. Helmet, goggle, wrist guard, not because I wanted to look pro but more so to protect myself from an accidental fall. I would have seriously injured my head if not for a helmet I wore during my last trip. Icy slope plus an amateurish back edge descent was really not a good combination. In fact I looked more like a kid who would religiously wear a helmet because Daddy and Mummy said so.

I still fall but not so much on my butt. I had learned to conserve enough energy to last me through the 6 Days. My muscles still ache all over but by Day 4, I was actually feeling less exhausted. Perhaps the 9 hours drive from Paris to Flaine did drain me out, or perhaps my body had grown accustomed to the mountain air, or maybe my muscles may had gotten used to the strenuous workout. There were just too many reasons why an aging body is not at its best.

I fumbled with the t-bar lift, I gasped at the top of every daunting slope, I balked at every narrow turn, going through the steps in my head, hoping that I could make it without falling off the mountain into some deep abyss. To lean, to shift and to slow myself down. Because Flaine was situated at a higher altitude the snow was kept powdery soft despite continuous sunshine. Powdery snowy slopes were  definitely more forgiving for skiers and boarders than icy slopes.

By Day 6, I was the only girl left in the group.There could have been another 17 year old British girl if not because of a fall just a few hours before the last lesson while trying to avoid a block of snow. She hurt her back and bumped her head and decided to call it quit. I could understand her disappointment.

I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I finally reached the foot of the mountain on my last lesson. I squealed with delight and told the instructor with a straight face that I deserve a cert or some kind of medal to commemorate my achievement.

It turned out that our 1 week holiday was more of a terrifying experience than a relaxing one for me. Each time up the mountain,  I realized that I was pretty much alone, on my own even though we may be up the slope as a group. It dawned on me that I may have never gained the independence and confidence to excel in this sport. It is this, coupled with the demanding skills required that make this sport such a challenge.

I wish I could be more proficient, I wish I could worry less about falling, I wish I could snake down the slope like the girl in that hot pink ski pants, I wish I could glide and jump over humps and bumps like the little boy who went down on black with dad. My wishes may seem unrealistic but I hope it won’t be too far away.

For now, I am content to have completed the 6 day course, making down the slopes without major injuries. For this, by itself, is a triumph for me.



Wengen Day 5 - 068

We are  back from the Alps and I DID IT !

I survived the 6 days snowboarding course !

I am back in a piece

No broken bones

No major injuries

that is a cause for celebration

HO HO HO !!!


My muscles ache like never before and you thought they would go off after the first few days.


I woke up EVERYDAY with new aches

I discovered muscles I never knew existed before

The body was exhausted but the adrenaline kept it going


To say that I am fearless

I am lying through my teeth!

I wasn’t much encouraged when half the group were less than 1/2 my age !

The youngest being an eleven year old boy !

Maybe having someone to say that I looked 18 did help to delude myself a little

An 18 year old with a 4 year old kid ?

She must have thought that I was a delinquent mum !

or to put it blatantly, I may look just ‘physically under developed’


At 35,

my gut shrunk

my reflexes retarded

and I tend to work out the movements in the head more than through actions

Doing experiments mentally ?!

Learning to snowboard without falling ?!

It sounds almost absurd !


I watched the teenagers shift and gain balance on the boards each time they lose it

Laugh when they fall

Get on their feet and try again

I wish I can be that agile

and I wish that falling can be that fun !

I can keep on wishing

and probably end up sitting on the bunny slope for the rest of my course


Learning to speed down the slopes without fearing myself crashing

I think my 4 year old can teach me that

Learning to break fall without breaking bones

I know my 4 year old can do better at that

Wengen Day 1- 112


So I ended up crashing and falling

My knees bruised

My butt sore

and my tail bone hurts the most


But I was exhilarated

I was ecstatic


doesn’t matter if I braked more than 1/2 the way down!

the fact is



A little bit crazy, a little bit pushing the limit

but I love this feeling of triumph

and I have to hint to my husband

I DESERVE some champagne popping !

for this may be the best way to end my year 2008 !

Wengen Day 7 - 001_mod

So what was the craziest thing you did in year 2008 ?

Will love to hear them !

Dec 583

Here’s a little something from Switzerland for that crazy story.

Don’t worry if you don’t have one, you can still drop me a note if you find this Cailler Swiss Dark Chocolate irresistible.

Here’s wishing you and your family all the wonderful and beautiful things in the brand new year !