Week Four: One of Those Moments

Some moments steal your breath away; a sunset in all its fiery glory, or maybe a star falling across the night sky. Greater moments stop your heart from beating; a baby being born, or maybe a hole in one on a golf course. But, I think there are a few moments in your life that—

Waking up on a snowboarding day is a surreal feeling.  The house, dark and silent, holds everyone inside lulled until morning obligations say their dreams are over. The house keeps everyone asleep— everyone except one.

He woke up at the sound of his alarm, and sat upright in bed, hoping he did not over sleep. The unusual feeling of excitement mixed with exhaustion runs through his veins; today is the day, and it has finally arrived. The only conscious soul in a sleeping house, he headed to the shower, towel in hand, rolling his bare feet on the cold planks as to not make a sound. In the shower, beneath the hot water, he allowed his mind to escape to the mountain for a preliminary run. In a darkened house, silent and sleeping, he was on the mountain going through which tricks to land, and which techniques to improve.

Out of the shower and over the warmer planks, he dressed appropriately. More awake now, he double checked the equipment he packed. Boots, snowpants, extra socks, jacket, goggles and helmet. Ready, he snuck into the kitchen and cereal falling into a metallic bowl broke the silence in the kitchen. After a breakfast by himself, he checked his room one last time, and grabbed his bag. Stepping out into the crisp air of the morning’s first hints of blue, he gently closed the door to a still sleeping, still darkened, and still silent house.

One thing my heart was set on doing was snowboarding The Andes. At around 4,800 miles long, these mountains are the backbone of South America, and the longest mountain range in the world. Three other students and I met early Wednesday morning to rent gear, and ride the bus which would shuttle us up these Andes Mountains to Valle Nevado. Valle Nevado is one of the premier ski resorts around Santiago, and lucky for us, was laden with ample snow which had fallen a few days prior to our trip.

The day was perfect. The sunshine fell on a powday at the resort which, because it was a weekday, remained uncrowded the entire day. After a slow start, we stepped off the gondola and packed onto the first ski lift.

Some moments definitely take your breath away, and sometimes I have felt my heart skip a beat. But, as the ski lift ascended with us four college students, I learned some moments to be different. My eyes widened when I caught sight of an enormous rock face, frosted, and in front of a blue sky backdrop. Soaring on the ski lift, some 13,000 feet in elevation, I felt chills run down my back. I inhaled, and felt my shoulders relax in pure satisfaction. I looked over my shoulder towards the endless panorama of mountain peaks. It looked like something I could only see on a postcard. I exhaled.

Yeah, there are moments greater than words can describe. It happens when your soul finally reaches a place it has always wanted to be. Your heart beats a little faster, and you never want to see the end.

We snowboarded all damn day. Run after run over the fresh powder seemed effortless.

Homeward bound, packed yet again onto a bus, a watching the mountain peaks silhouetted by a setting sun, I considered myself to be very blessed—very lucky, and very blessed for sure.


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