My ex is very kindly teaching me to snowboard. Upon announcing this, some people have looked at me with horror. They don't need to say it, I know what they are thinking. It's "Are you SURE he's not plotting to push you over the edge of a mountain and make it look like an accident and you will be found 127 hours later with one less arm?" This wasn't so much my concern as that it may be more humiliating than actually physically dangerous. But now the amount of lectures I've received on various broken elbows, tailbones and wrists make me think that if I'm sitting in a Norwegian bar at the end of Day 1, have all limbs functioning and am merely being ridiculed for my complete lack of coordination, then I should be grateful. Then again, my friend told me that her father broke his leg skiing. The paramedics shot him full of morphine and propped him in the bar while they had their Friday night drink. So possibly these two scenarios are not mutually exclusive, and I might be in a bar, holding my drink at an unlikely angle due to some kind of spiral fracture and cheerfully agreeing that yes, I am particularly untalented and wasn't it hilarious when my butt was in the air and can someone adjust my morphine dose please?
But anyway, I'm sure it will be fine. My ex is a confident teacher and if anyone knows how to deal with me in that kind of situation (in order to move between unexplained terror and bouts of irrational anger, bribery in edible goods will be required) it's him, bless him.
Why am I doing this? Largely because it sort of terrifies me and yet in a way in which I desperately want to be able to do it. I have a deep, irrational commitment to doing things which scare me. I am not sure what Darwin would say about that.
Now that I think about it, I embarked on 2012 with various vaguely formed resolutions (building on my vast experience as an over imaginative child, I figure if you don't actually call them New Year's Resolutions then they can't hurt you right?) If I had to write them down, they'd probably look something like this:
1. Do some exercise sometimes 2. Eat properly sometimes 3. If at all possible, don't let people who don't care about you waste your time 4. Learn new things
Number 1 - So far, I have gone to the gym several times a week this year. Ok, it's only January 16. And ok, the gym is in my apartment building. And….full disclosure, is the only place where I can watch The Simpsons. But that can be our little secret.
Number 2 - I spent $100 at Whole Foods yesterday (admittedly that's about a bowl of cereal and a banana at their prices) and have vowed to actually use our large, ridiculously modern appliances. In fact my colleague Will insists that our appliances are so modern that our oven probably has self-cleaning mode. I was very disappointed when he clarified that this means a certain temperature setting, not little robots which actually scrape away the burnt apple pie.
Number 3 remains to be seen.
I am now faced with actually putting #4 into action. But it's also largely because I feel a deep cultural shame for an Australian to not know how to surf. I figure from now on I will at least be able to say "Oh no, I can't surf. I can snowboard though." If nothing else I'll probably have a spectacular scar and a morphine addiction to show for it.