Boneless Powder-Hound

ben kindlonI feel like a cokehead with a large supply and a stuffy nose.  I sit staring, longing for; rather obsessing over this white powdery substance that lies directly in front of my face, unable to do anything with it.  My drug of choice, snow, has finally come and all I can do is look at it. Nothing is more frustrating.

Unlike coke, snow is substance that is anything but detrimental to my life. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Without love, there can be no hate, and vise versa.  Coupled with the intense love I hold in my heart for snowboarding and everything involved with the lifestyle, is the dark depression of my time without it.

As an East Coast rider, I’ve learned to cope with three to four-month-short seasons and only a few choice powder days per year. I wait patiently throughout the rest of the year, jealous of West Coast riders enjoying their seasons well into the spring, maybe even summer, and beginning the following season earlier than us on the east coast could hope to imagine.

This year, just prior to the start of the season, I blistered and tore a tendon behind my knee while skateboarding a planter gap on campus. After waiting patiently for months on end, powder-stricken, the 2013-14 snowboarding season has kicked off  — and I’m stuck watching the opening day recaps on Transworld.

Each day, I say to myself, “Alright, you’re hurt. You’ve just got to bide your time, try to be patient and soon enough we’ll (Cecilia, my snowboard, and I) be throwing back-three tail grabs at Hunter.”

I try so hard to remain optimistic on my way down the stairs, only to feel disheartened and embittered all over again once I step out the front door. Life is really tough when you’re injured.

But is it impossible? No. As bad as my situation is, I know it could be worse. I think of skateboarding legend John Cardiel and the life-changing injury he had to endure. In 2003, Cardiel was struck by a van while filming for his part in the movie “Tent City” in Australia.  When he awoke, the doctor told him his paralysis would prohibit him from ever walking, let alone skating, again.

Cardiel proved medical experts wrong by regaining his ability to walk.  Not even paralysis could keep him away from his addiction to thrill seeking.  Although he can’t skate, Cardiel connects with the same joy he got through skateboarding by riding bikes.

Yesterday I stood on the back porch of my apartment and watched as the white, angelic flakes falling from the clouds came down to cover the ground white.  Instead of frustration, I encouraged myself to feel the hope.  Things could be worse, and fortunately I can rest assured that for me, they’ll get better.

In these times of despair, the worst thing to do is mope.

The frustration I am experiencing with my injury only exists in the balance of my love for riding. I hate being hurt so much now only because I have loved my time snowboarding so dearly.

This love-hate relationship is what makes my world go round.  This balance is what keeps me knowing invulnerability is a false sense of security.

Spinning and balance. Sound familiar?

East Coast, beast coast, later skaters.