So I spent much of the weekend trying to get a bunch of backside spins working just from flat snow, no kickers—pop off edges, Ollie up, or just hop straight up and turn…

It was partly just fatigue that I stayed off the kickers—long, hard week at work. And also it was a very cold day, with very hard landings. And partly that I’ve generally been advised learning to nail those hop and spin things is good for your form. If you can spin ‘em with the tiny bit of air you get that way, that’s a good thing, and also, you get the form so you’re comfortable jumping from the kicker, which makes tripping over the lip a lot less likely…

Got many variations working pretty… okay. I’m going to go with okay. Still have trouble rotating solidly into the fall line, when pointed that way, but cutting into the hill a bit, I’m all right. My backside to-switch from toe edge, I can almost call reliable, now… musta landed a few dozen of those. I’m still a little awkward bringing all of ‘em down, tho’. There’s this thing I keep doing where the top of the body is a little slow coming around. Oh, I land ‘em; they just look and feel less than entirely smooth. But I have a longish skeleton, for this stuff, so I expect this is doing to be a bit of a thing for me. Lot of angular momentum to manage, and I need to manage it right. But, generally, anyway, I stick those now, which is progress…

Anyway, I’ve still got this mild complex about these things, all the same. Feel a little silly, sometimes, y’know? It’s always nice when I meet some other guy on the lift obviously with a 3 or a 4 in the tens column of his age with a terrain park pass, and I get to think for that moment: if this is a bit nuts, well, at least I’m not the only one…

And these spins, this weekend, especially, I’m doing on blues and greens—beginner runs and flats, just wait ‘til there’s tonnes of space around me, so I’m not panicking actual beginners by suddenly going airborne and spinning. And that’s a bit… Well, y’know, there’s often older folk on those, just out, just learning, and I wonder whatinhell they might be thinking. Like, man, what are you even doing? Isn’t that stuff for kids?

So anyway, I do it all the same, thinking: under goggles and helmet, who can tell for sure anyway? And whether or not they do, my business. And seriously, I’ve done everything else, anyway… And if I spin it, I land it (or not), it’s all good. I try not to let it bug me.

And I get through the whole thing—two days of that, the kids in their lessons—with no injuries at all to speak of. Legs sore just from all the effort, actually, which is pretty much ideal: muscles learning and building. So many turns, my legs are saying, c’mon, you’ve got to be kidding us… Another, now?

… and then I get back to the city, pick up the cats from my mother-in-law’s place…

… and slip in the ice on the driveway and bruise my hip.

No, it’s not at all bad. Hardly counts as a bruise, seriously. And I’m rolling out of it as I hit the damned ice and concrete (and man, do I know how to fall now, from all this stuff, which is just bonus, when you think about it) and I’m already grimacing, thinking, y’know…

… y’know, shit happens. You can get hurt so many ways. Whyinhell not do it trying something actually fun? Seriously, if I’d really done something debilitating in that driveway, I’d be kicking myself I hadn’t been trying for more air on the hill.

The lesson being, I think: seriously, just go for it, dammit. Do something fun, and do something a little bit scary. The ground is coming, one way or another, anyway.