Winter is Coming ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


For a girl who grew up in year-round flip-flop weather, winter can be a daunting thing. What's to love about piling on thick layers on a daily basis and having to trudge through the gray slush that collects on Manhattan's streets after snow and grime mingle and mate, after all? I bitterly suffered through New York's blisteringly cold winters for years—until I found something to love about it.

A few years ago, as part of my 30 Before 30 Project, I fastened my feet onto a snowboard for the very first time. I went home that day with a bruised rib and a battered ego, but also with a firm resolve to conquer those slopes. So as soon as the next season started, I bought a full set of gear and just went for it.


I was lucky to have a group of similarly enthused friends, so we spent practically every weekend snowboarding and, little by little, I went from a rag doll flopping wildly down the mountain to a girl just happily breezing her way (and only occasionally unintentionally cartwheeling) down the slopes.


A friend of mine once told me that she'd read in the book The Happiness Project that one of the ways to stay happy is to constantly improve at something. I see the truth of that. It made a world of a difference to have snowboarding to escape to every weekend. On those slopes, the burdens of daily life did not weigh heavy on my mind; it was just me getting to know the board and the mountain. With every toeside turn nailed and links finally done right came a sense of accomplishment—a high that would stay with me long until after I'd unstrapped that board from my feet.


When I think about the girl who used to whimper at the sight of snow, she seems like someone from another life. Now, I can hardly wait to rekindle my romance with those snow-covered mountains.

The moral of the story: Find something to love in whatever seemingly interminable situation you're in. Do that well enough and not only will you forget what was so unbearable about the situation in the first place—you might even start to enjoy that challenge-filled time of your life.

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23 comments

  1. I tried to learn snowboarding last season & failed. Hubs tried to teach me but my fear of getting hurt took over & it was really hard for me get it. But I'm going to try it again this season. Hopefully I'll get it and I 'll enjoy the sport as much as hubs does. :)

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    1. I totally know what you mean! Try to go somewhere with a nice and thick layer of snow. It's kinda fun to fall on fluffy snow and it'll make you a lot more willing to take chances. Good luck!

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  2. Lovely pictures, and many props for your bravery! After seeing groups of teens return from ski trips, over and over, growing up, and noticing that there always seemed to be at least one person with a broken limb, I swore off skiing and snowboarding, but, then, we are talking about a good-sized group, of TEENagers. Ha ha ha. Most of them were probably boys, showing off to try and impress the girls (or getting competitive ... I could understand that all too well XD).

    I love your photos! They're beautiful, and formatted so nicely, which is possibly a strange compliment, but, most people seem happy for sincere compliments, even if they're a bit odd.

    Happy thoughts!

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    1. Thanks dear! Of course I am happy to hear any and all sincere compliments! Though honestly, credit goes to Instagram for the formatting on this post ;-)

      Ah yes, there's always an inherent danger to having fun on the slopes. I just try to be as safe as possible, from wearing a helmet at all times to going through such lengths as wearing knee pads underneath my snowboarding pants! Better safe than without use of a limb for the rest of a freezing winter!

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  3. I hear you, the cold months in new york inpsired me to learn how to knit and crochet, so not only do I get to keep warm but also have a creative outlet that I love at the same time... :)

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    1. Oooh that's something I have yet to learn. Knitting and crocheting sound like great winter activities! It would also make me less inclined to shop for expensive blankets and throws. Thanks for the great idea!

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  4. When I found out I was moving to the Midwest from Atlanta.. I knew I'd hate the winter as well. I am a Southern girl and when I was told to find an outdoor something to love during the height of snow days.. I wasn't sure it would be possible. Looks like the advice has worked for you!

    xx
    Lulu

    ablueoctober.blogspot.com

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    1. Do give it a go, Lulu! If you don't fall in love with a winter sport, there's still hot tubbing and hot chocolate to consider ...

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  5. That's brilliant. What to look at the glass half full!

    Fantastic!

    whatdidiagreeto.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for the inspiration. High School can have its slopes as well so finding a sense of enjoyment can help overcome those obstacles.

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  7. I've had my own snowboarding attempts. Good on you for sticking with it. I've never had time to fully commit to the sport and as a result have always gone home cold, wet, bruised and battered. But knowing that I got through it gives me an unbelievable sense of accomplishment.
    Keep sharing these great stories!

    http://alpaca-wednesday.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hang in there, Claire! It can be punishing in the beginning but so much fun once you get the hang of it. Thanks for stopping by. I'll keep sharing if you keep reading!

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  8. OH, I love this! I have been planning on starting my own Happiness Project last month after reading the book! I am so inspired and you have just reminded me to revisit my idea! I love your blog by the way! -Jessica L

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    1. Thank you Jessica! You really should. It will make such a difference in your life!

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  9. Your blog is so adorable and I absolutely love it [: You're so inspiring and I love the idea behind everything your write! Please keep it up and I will be visiting often [:

    www.thedancingpencilonpaper.blogspot.com

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    1. Such kind words! Thank you so much dear!

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  10. Snowboard - it's cool. I still skated only once. But now snowboard - my love. Your blog is interesting to read

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  11. I resonate with your wanderlust and foodie posts and was pleasantly surprised to learn you're another pinay in NYC, while I'm here in Paris! Quelle chance! Anyway, I love your posts, especially this, coincidentally, I just posted mine as well along the same lines :) -- http://wellamaria.blogspot.fr/2014/01/5-ways-to-survive-winter-pretty-without.html

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    1. Lovely blog! And those winter tights --- oh my love!

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  12. I live in the tropics, so I do not ever know what's so special with winter, blessed are those who live in areas with four seasons

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    1. Too true, I grew up with just 2 seasons as well, and it is quite fun to enjoy 4 (well until the Polar Vortex hits, that is). Thanks for the reminder to enjoy life's blessings :-)

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