I don't care who invented snowboarding. I don't care what sort of doped-out hoodlums enjoy it as a pastime. What I want to know is how the hell I got tricked into thinking that it was some sort of cool, non pain-inducing activity. I'd like to blame hallucinogenic drugs or Nazis, but I haven't had contact with either for some time. So it seems I can blame only myself.

The only thing I don't have a complaint about is the fashion. I love snowboarding fashion. Those huge, obnoxiously colored boots and snow outfits? Fabulous. Unfortunately, I quickly found that fashion self-esteem is not enough to shield you from pain.

That’s because snowboarding is probably the only activity that you don't care if you fall. You don't even care if other people see you fall. That's because everyone falls and falls all the time. That's right; repeated failure is not only acceptable, it's expected. It’s like public high school. More often than not, falling now is preferred to falling later because you're only going to pick up speed. And when you eventually fall - and I as I said, you will fall again - it's only going to hurt more. So you might as well clench your fists, heave your body to the ground and taste artificial snow. Tastes like confetti.

So fall I did and I fell early, often, late and everything in between. With each fall, a new part of my body ached. It got so bad that I hurt in places I couldn't identify on an anatomy chart. Eventually, I ran out of organs to hurt and eventually started hurting in phantom body parts that evolution had discarded from the human form thousands of years ago.

After one of the many, many, many meetings between my face and the mountain, one fellow (probably a pedophile) offered some advice - which incidentally included no help whatsoever: "Hey. No pain, no gain. Right, buddy? Hehe. Keep at it."

Ha... ha... haha... Ha. In case you can't tell, that laughter was both sarcastic and insincere. No pain no gain? Call me crazy, but can't we just leave it at 'no pain'? That would be preferable for me. Given the choice of pain and no pain, I'd probably lean towards no pain 75% of the time.

And gain? Who the hell cares about gain anyway? No one says what kind of gain is expected from the unspecified pain. Gain isn't necessarily a good thing. You could gain a brain tumor. You could gain a reputation for being a sexual deviant. You could gain a 15-year prison sentence and a cellmate named Trent/Debbie. I'm no lawyer, but I simply can't agree to this no-pain/no-gain clause until I am assured the amounts and details of both pain and gain.

Probably the most insulting sight was that of a child of 10 weaving his way down the mountain like Betsy Ross on a Singer. As if I needed any further frustration: it did very little benefit to witness a fetus tackling the task with great ease while I tumbled down the mountain to the sound of my own cracking bones.

Nature helped my endeavor very little as well. My supposed friends and I picked to hit the mountain on a day with 20mph winds... which were blowing UP the mountain! The longest I stayed up all day was when a particularly strong gust slowed me to a halt and then blew me back up the mountain for about 15 feet. Even though this is probably the exact opposite of achieving the goal at hand, I still felt proud of the achievement: "You snowboarded 15 feet up a mountain?" That's right. Jealous?

As if submitting to gravity weren't hard enough, I think I found greater difficulty in trying to move around on level ground - i.e. from the end of a run to the ski lift and from the ski lift to the beginning of a run. Imagine that you were a duck; attach a wooden plank sideways to only one foot. Step onto ice. Now walk 50 feet. Good luck.

Dejected and battered, I hobbled into the lodge to sulk where I found an acoustic duo that was playing Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer." Oh yes, my friends. The fighter still remained. As I sat at the bar, my Disney-saturated upbringing left me half-expecting a quiet stranger to appear out of nowhere and impart words of infinite wisdom upon me. As the afternoon passed, no one appeared, but my confidence was steadily increasing. Then again, it may have been due to my four rounds of Samuel Adams, the closest thing to a silent stranger I was going to find.

I found myself surged with newfound energy as the chorus of a Chumbawumba song thumped in the background: "I get knocked down... But I get up again... You're never gonna keep me down... I get knocked down..." Mostly that last part over and over again.

Fortunately, I didn't seriously injure myself or anyone around me, but the ski lift looks to be out of commission for some time. In my drunken state of mind, I somehow switched up the proper order of operations. Specifically, when you're supposed to ride the ski lift and when you head down the mountain. To put it in a more positive sounding light, I learned the lesson that a snowboard should not be used as a grappling device when attempting to hijack a downhill moving ski lift chair. Yeah. Musta been the booze.

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