My first hard fall snowboarding was also the first time anyone heard my lungs make that noise. A gush of air departed my mouth − all of it − followed by loud, awkward moaning. With each grunt, I tried to take back in some of that air I so desperately wanted, but my diaphragm had called it a day. I'd obviously broken it. This was going to be my end. Death by catching my toe edge.
It turns out I'd only suffered temporary diaphragm paralysis, or what's known as getting the wind knocked out of you. Like most snowboarders just starting out, I had forgotten to lift my toes as I turned down the slope. Once the mountain grabbed the edge of my snowboard, my dumb face took one of the fastest trips back to earth its ever experienced.
Snowboarding is awesome. It gets even better as you hold fewer yard sales on the mountain. There's something about speeding down a top-to-bottom run surrounded by winter. The people are great, too. Lift attendants tell you to enjoy your run as they shovel snow under the chair. On the way up the lift, you learn where strangers are from and how long they've been at the resort.
It's the only thing that gets me in and out of bed early.
It's going to be a long road. The car's not even out of the driveway. But I cannot wait to get out there again and worry about not catching my toe edge.