I’ve crossed the border into Canada, and am currently enjoying beautiful Whistler, BC. My knee, however, is not enjoying it back. Today was the one day I was going to go snowboarding (after I don’t know how many years of not snowboarding), but my joints had other plans.
I’ve been faithfully putting in my one mile every morning, despite some knee pain returning over the past several days, and despite a travel schedule that includes early breakfasts and a lot of driving. Today was no different, except that after my (slightly painful) mile on the treadmill, I was going to go check out the awesome Canadian mountain on a snowboard.
I got all layered up (wool tights under fleece tights under snow pants, with two long-sleeved running tops under three jackets, plus gloves, goggles, neck gaiter, hat), went through the rental process (boots, board, and helmet for $68), and schlepped myself and my gear to the lift ticket kiosk (one adult for one day $114), to stand in line for the gondola to the top of the mountain. At this point, my knee was already screaming from the boots and the awkward knee-bending stance they give you, and even my good knee got tweaked while walking across the parking lot. Then, it started to rain.
I knew the rain in the village was snow on top of the mountain, which meant the conditions were probably awesome, but at the moment I was sweaty, in pain, and waiting in a line that made the TSA lines look like a foot race. After 20 minutes of waiting to get halfway through the line, during which I gave myself endless pep talks that weren’t working, I flexed my knees and went through some of the typical snowboard motions. Nope nope nope. Not happening. I ducked under the metal barrier and sat on the curb. Sunk cost? Should I wait it out and try again later? Should I try a short run off a smaller lift to see how it goes? Should I just try to return everything and skip my one shot at skiing Whistler?
I asked myself, how would I feel if I inured my knees, not even so badly as to need surgery, but just enough to take me out of commission for a couple months. That’s when I finally pulled the plug and went back to the rental shop. I explained that my knee was in too much pain to even try boarding and they were nice enough to give me a full refund (it helped that I walked out of the shop seemingly only moments before, and I had obviously not used the gear). I then went to guest services to see if I could get a refund on the lift ticket (not thinking it was likely) but lo and behold, they could tell I never even scanned my ticket (yay technology!), so I got a full refund on that, too.
I’m disappointed I couldn’t go snowboarding today, but after squeezing into all my layers and heavy boots, sweating into those heavy layers, (almost) spending a lot of money, waiting in a long line while inching a heavy, sharp-edged board forward, and then returning everything, I feel like I got an authentic ski experience anyway. Plus, I had newfound time to wander the village shops and buy some foreign candy bars I hadn’t yet tried.
Crossing my fingers my knee(s) will feel better tomorrow. I did walk a lot today, and it didn’t feel great, but I’m also icing it for the first time since New York, so I hope that helps. I’m so close to the end of this Run Streak I can taste it. And it tastes like a foreign candy bar.
How’s your streak going? Have you ever skied Whistler? Want to tell me what I missed? Share in the comments!