Actually, it was my ribs, not my ass.
So I was on Cypress today, using the rental equipment as always. I got my first run in a little after 9 am, and it was all machine snow overtop a THICK layer of ice. At least it was warm. Oh well... I've fallen before (obviously, still being pretty new!), but I did start to get better on my last trip up, so hopefully I'll be fine.
My first run down Collins (green) was going just fine, I stayed on my feet the entire time, making some rudimentary linked turns, and I managed to keep the board from getting "ass out" on me (automotive slang for oversteer), so I was feeling pretty good.
Then, I hit the flat parts.... and I just gotten off my heel edge so I was now straight ahead/parallel to the run (I ride normal stance), when I did something incredibly stupid (but also by complete accident): I stayed off my edges a moment too long. Next thing I know, I'm vaulted, yes, VAULTED, into the air, and I come crashing down onto my chest with a crashing THUD on what was a very thick sheet of ice underneath the snow, proceeded to skid a few more feet, then to a stop. So this is what it feels like to have the wind knocked out of me.... I couldn't take in any air despite my best efforts.
Removing my helmet, that managed to relieve some pressure on my trachea (the helmet was worn properly, but because I was literally gasping for it was now getting in the way), and I started to get some much needed oxygen into my lungs, which at that moment were so desperately grateful for the 02 that it was like a parched mouth feeling the taste of wine. What the hell was that? I've NEVER had my toeside edge catch like that before, and I wasn't even going that fast (or so I thought at the time).
Suffice to say, my pride wasn't the worst of my wounds. Once I regained my bearings and had a chance to pick myself up, my ribs on my ride side started howling in protest at any movement. Shit! That was my first run, I was thinking, I don't want to stop now.
As it turned out, the pain never subsided throughout the day, but it only came about my trying to use my intercostal muscles (like when sitting down strapped in, and trying to then roll over, or laughing, or trying to pick something up with my right arm). So, I was able to continue boarding.
Problem is, each successive session was met with other problems. I crashed hard onto my left (front) knee. Then I had problems with my rear foot coming out in front when making a heelside turn (oversteer!). Then I fell ON MY FACE looking UP the mountain while on my heel edges going down a (for me) steep portion. WTF is going on? I've never had these kind of problems before. And these are all the same runs I practiced on and had a lesson on my last time here.
As it turns out, this is my introduction to riding on ice with shit snow. I've been so used to fresh powder on the groomers thus far, so I didn't know different conditions could feel this, well, different. Like driving a car in warm rain vs. ice, I told myself. And I realized that this whole time so far (about 5 runs), that I had gotten back into my bad habits... not leaning enough onto my front leg, and trying to go straight from heel edge to toe edge, without giving myself a chance to rotate the board for the brief period it stays flat.
Well, now that I realized what I had been doing, I was determined to get it right. Sure enough, my next run, also my last before lunch, was (to me) PERFECT. I leaned heavily on my front leg even though my instincts were telling my not to, linked all my turns, kept a nice S-pattern, and didn't fall down ONCE. I was so happy.
After lunch, I went for another lvl 3 lesson to get some more pointers, and our instructor taught me a whole host of new things that really seemed to work out well. Like "gas-pedaling" (getting the board to twist by adjusting the front foot first, THEN the rear foot, rather than both at once), keeping my hands in my pockets to force me to use my knees more to guide the board (that scared me at first), how to go down steeper blue patches and to bend more at my knees but not go too high on my edge (causes me to fall flat on my face, since I'm not carrying much speed for this), and also how to train myself to use my shoulders (my alternating hands on stomach and small of back, depending on which edge you're on) and how to REALLY crouch down and how much to rise up when changing edges.
All this, despite my ribs (And my left knee) screaming at me throughout the day. I went back up for one last run after my afternoon lesson, and all those tricks just worked out so well. I still have some problems with the steep blue portions, but I know that will come with time. I'm so much more confident in my turns now, both heel and toe-side, and I feel I have better control at keeping my speed vs. just losing it all when turning. That I managed to fix a lot of my own problems on my own before the lesson, too, was incredibly gratifying. My body feels awful right now, but I feel pretty good.
Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to reach for some wine and some opioids.