Snowboarding in Pyeongchang!
When I was 13 I went to sleep-away camp. That was the first time I did a lot of things. Water ski, horseback ride, sleep in a bunkbed, and…. “snowboard.”
We went on a field trip to a ski resort, but my entire life I’ve been deathly afraid of heights. I got on the bunny hill and tried to go down, but every time I started picking up speed I’d fall over on purpose out of fear.
Fast forward 15 years later, my friends are pumped because they all want to go snowboarding.
I’ve made a lot of progress with my fear of heights. I’ve gone on a number of big roller coasters, rock climbed, and even cliff dived in Cebu! But… None of those involve any real danger if you mess up. Just put your trust in your guide or your rope. Snowboarding, you might break something, you might die.
It didn’t help that I was on week 1 of the BBG workout plan. Week 1 is a KILLER. I could barely move.
My friends reserved a hostel in Pyeongchang, where the 2018 winter Olympics will be. I wasn’t expecting anything, but it turned out to be a gorgeous snow-covered log cabin in the mountains.
Spacious, two bathrooms, a view of the snowy fields, a porch with a grill, a hot tub, unbelievable.
After putting all of our things in the hostel it was time to face the music. We got suited up, and I started having hard-core nostalgia for SSX3 on Play Station 2. Good times. I was great at that game, maybe I could be great at real life, too? Doesn’t Guitar Hero teach you guitar? (crying inside)
I was snowboarding with another first timer and one seasoned pro. We had booked a one-hour lesson. Our teacher thought there was only one of us not three, but he did his best, and at least we made it down the mountain.
This was when I found out don’t go snowboarding when you can barely walk from working out. I was so sore in every muscle of my body from BBG, I couldn’t get up on my board. Going down was easy enough. It was getting up from the ground that I didn’t have enough strength for. I spent a lot of time after our lesson lying on my back struggling in pain. ㅠㅠ
After snowboarding we headed over to the jjimjilbang, or bathhouse, nearby, to meet up with our friends who had been skiing. They were skiing pros used to skiing in the French and German Alps, so they were pretty bored, but us newbies were exhausted.
The bathhouse was fantastic. There was an open air section where you could be in a burning hot tub in freezing air, and it was perfect after a day of exhausting exercise. We were all naked, so clearly I don’t have pictures of it. But I recommend checking it out!
After the jjimjilbang we were SO happy to finally go home. I was so exhausted I flopped onto the floor of the cabin and lay there for a good ten minutes unable to move. We rounded up soju (Korean alcohol similar to sake), beef, vegetables, rice, and sauces at the nearby convenience store for a memorable feast in our ridiculous pajamas.
The next day I was so sore I had pretty much given up becoming a snowboard master on this trip. But to be a good sport I did my best to hit the mountain one more time. Before hitting the slopes I mentally prepared with some fish cake and hot coco. I took my time watching everyone else on the slopes.
I tried to make it down the slopes two more times, and then I was done. But I had given it my all.
I changed out of my clothes and went with my fellow newbie to a cute cafe for more hot coco and tea. We meant to go hiking, but the mountain was farther than we expected, and the cafe was cosier than we expected, so after warming up we just went back to the skii resort. xD;
Back at the resort we were proper cheerleaders for our friends, filming and screaming as they jumped for us.
Finally we went in to warm our feet, and headed home.
Skiing seems a lot more like ice skating than snowboarding and I’m a decent ice skater, so I really want to try skiing next time, I’ve never been! But snowboarding was really fun despite the pain and fear. Next year I’m definitely giving it another shot. In 2018 the Winter Olympics will be coming to Pyeongchang, right where we were. Hopefully I can watch how the pros do it and learn a thing or two. I’ve got tickets to a game or two, so stay tuned!
Are you a snowboarding pro? Do you have any tips for a hopeless newbie like me? Or are you just as terrified of heights as I am? Let me know your experiences in the comments down below!
Cheers and peace,
If you’re interested in recreating our trip, we snowboarded at the beautiful Alpensia Resort, in Pyeongchang, South Korea. You can find more information at their website: http://www.alpensiaresort.co.kr/