It was our first day on the slopes. We scheduled a private lesson for Jeanette and Jordan. It was hard to contain Jordan’s excitement. She chattered constantly and told every stranger that this was her first day snowboarding.
The outfitting took longer than expected and Jordan was not pleased with the uniform selection of grey boots. She wanted pink or magenta. But she settled for grey. We weren’t able to make her leg splints fit into the boots, so she went out without them, which was just fine by her. She’s walking around pretty well these days, though she is prone to sudden falls and her gait is an awkward hobble.
During the outfitting, Jordan first met Isa, her instructor for the day. She was a great fit for Jordan – outgoing, gentle and extremely patient. She helped Jordan get into her boots and soon she and the girls were on their way up to the training camp while Luc and I headed to the top of the mountain to test the great Beaver Creek powder.
As we finished our first run, we spied the girls in training camp, and made our way over to watch. Jordan was off her board and climbing a giant snow drift. Her instructor was following. I asked the inevitable question and was told that Jordan was taking a break to make a “slip and slide.”
Jordan had actually completed her first small run down the training hill. Unlike many first-time snowboarders, she had no fear of the motion. She started moving and wanted to keep going. But an equally important part of snowboarding is learning how to stop. Jordan wasn’t interested in that part. She got frustrated and then distracted, and next thing you know, she’s climbing snow drifts.
When she found her way back down, I asked if I could watch her snowboard.
“Sure thing, Dad.”
And like that, she was on the carpet lift and making her way to the top. She strapped in and was ready to go. Isa stood close by and gave her tips. Jordan flared up and demanded to be left alone. Isa was so patient with her and never flinched in Jordan’s outburst. She explained that it was really important that she learn how to move her board across the fall line, not just down it. By that time, I was at the top of the hill. After scolding Jordan for yelling at her instructor, I encouraged her to listen and try.
It was pretty amazing to watch Jordan stand up and start going. As usual, she has no fear. And she LOVES speed. She was moving instantly, but we had to intervene lest she start bombing down the mountain without any way to stop or control her trajectory.
At the base, I congratulated her on her courage and strength. I could tell she was tired. We watched as Jeanette made her way down the hill with the instructor. On Luc’s suggestion, we put Jordan on the skiers training hill, which was nearly flat. She was so proud to be moving by herself without help. When she finished, she was ready to call it a day. The girls gathered up their gear and headed toward the gondolas back. Luc and I took the fun way. As I dropped on to the main run, I looked up and saw the girls waving to me from the gondola. Jordan was all toothy-smile.
Mark another one off for the adventurous Jordan Vincent.