Mothers can still ski!!
When I pick up my snowboard I feel empowered.
It’s quite similar, I guess, to when you hear a song, or smell a familiar scent (of the perfume, fresh cut grass, and barbecue variety! Not the nasty, ‘for the love of god I’m about to have a bath!’ variety!) and as if by magic you are transported somewhere on a mystical, melancholy, tour through the inner corridors of your mind. You begin frantically opening doors and up turning dusty boxes, searching for the moment this fragrance or melody, first entered your sub-conscience. You know it is there somewhere!! If only you could find it!! And of course on other occasions, you arrive at the right door, the right dusty old box, your ‘memory destination’ if you will, before you even know you were on a mental trip in the first place! The destination, once reached will no doubt wash over you like a huge wave, you will stop what you are doing, if only for an instant (unless you are driving/doing open heart surgery/wiping your arse. I hope) and you will be immersed in the moment, smiling to yourself like a lunatic, lost to a magical memory, if only for a few seconds, of a time or moment once experienced but long forgotten.
For instance; I can be walking around Morrison’s trying to remember where they keep the coriander (cough cough microwave meal cough cough) with an unreachable itch just below my shoulder blade and a stone in my boot (don’t you just hate that!!) feeling frustrated (old people with trolleys annoy me, Im sorry, they just do! Must you stop in the walkway to discuss with Vera the price of bacon?! There is a traffic jam forming!) and the next thing I know I’m 22 again, playing air guitar on a beach in Barcelona with 5 of my oldest friends. I can actually feel the sun on my back, the sand beneath my toes and I can remember like yesterday the feeling of complete freedom, no responsibility and nights spent laughing and dancing under the stars.(Starship – We built this city.) Or alternatively I can be sat in the car, stuck in traffic, trying to console a screaming Addy while pacifying a howling Doodle while refusing to admit to a grumpy Other half, that he was right, I shouldn’t have come this way, when in an instant, I am 24, sat in the car with my older brother and my nieces, singing at the top of our voices, laughing our heads off, on our way to Blackpool. (Lynard Skynard- Sweet home Alabama. That song will forever belong to my beloved brother. May he rest in peace.)
It has been a very long time since I have been on my snowboard. Almost two years. Which when you think, in that time, I have conceived, been pregnant, thrown up a gazillion times, gained four stone in weight, given birth, had stitches in my anus (there is no way of sugar coating that, the saying I mean, not my anus. I tried. It is what it is, I apologise to those faint at heart) breastfed and failed, hugged a screaming baby, played with a happy baby, lost 3 stone, shopped a million times for a million different things, torn my stitches, been re-stitched, learnt how to multitask like a professional and slept for only an hour max, it feels like a lot longer. I am a different person now. In the last two years I have lived a lifetime. Does that make sense?
So after feeling a little lost, a little down and a little overwhelmed, my other half (angel that he is – usually) bought me a lift pass, as a gift to Chill Factore. This, he said, was an attempt to remind me, that even though I am a mummy, I can still be the fun loving girl I once was, before my dignity was wheeled out on a stretcher for the entire world to see! At the time I had groaned internally. I couldn’t snowboard anymore. I wasn’t that person anymore. I was a mother! Mothers don’t do things like that! They knit! They sit in on Saturday night watching Strictly and growing love handles! They nag! (They also get millions of smiles, give a million hugs and kisses and have the best job in the world but that’s another blog.) Mothers don’t ski!!
After much deliberation, which included a full nights worth of thought bubbles (baa!) and no sleep. I thought ‘what the hell I’ll do it!’ I frantically opened doors, and upturned wardrobes and located my long forgotten, baby blue and shiny, trusty Nidecker stead, and squidged most unladylike- like in to my once baggy outfit. (I was skinny for a short time prior to ‘babygate 2009’) I was nervous, to say the least.
And then the oddest thing happened. The minute I unzipped my board from its bag and slung it under my arm, I was instantly in another time. I was instantly in another place. My head shot up like a rocket on bonfire night, (up, not off!), my shoulders forced themselves back, back, back and (Im mortified by this now!) I cockily swaggered towards the car! I even smirked, like only a teenager knows how, at a man getting in to his car outside my house. (He shot me a look of confusion, and looking back now he must have thought I was a lunatic. ‘Not much snow in Eccles in October love!’) But I was woman with board; I was woman who could take on the world! I was confident again. I was passionate, I was excited and most of all I felt like me. I haven’t felt like me in such a long time.
What a bloody fantastic afternoon! I forgot I’d had no sleep. I forgot about the bills, the looming return to work, my creaky knees, my flappy skinned, stretch marked tummy and my achy breaky back and I was 25 again! I was powerful. I was passionate and exhilarated. I was walking around the place and zipping down the slope, like I owned it. I was smiling, grinning and eventually laughing as I began to regain my mojo. I probably looked like a complete knob! A middle aged woman on an artificial slope attached to a board, dressed in an outfit 2 sizes to small and surrounded by 19 year olds with ‘tudes!’ but I did not care! I could snowboard better than they could. I was faster, I was more experienced and I was, most importantly, having an absolute ball! I was woman! Hear me roar!!
It makes me see so clearly now, how I have gotten used to questioning myself, feeling inadequate, unsure and doubting my own ability. I have grown comfortable with constantly learning and am used to feeling like a stranger in my own mind. I forgot I could be this confident person. Being reminded, by simply taking an hour out for me and me alone, was enlightening. I can be a confident woman. I was a confident girl. I can be a confident mother! And it has nothing to do with that extra stone I need to shift! I will be a confident mother!
All I need to do is find a changing bag big enough to fit a snowboard, and we are good to go!