Part 3: Picking brains and talking to the pros

 A continuation from “Getting back on the slopes after joining motherhood”.

Read previous blogs of “THE FEAR” series.

So I’ve done a little bit of work on “The Fear” since my last blog post but not as much as I had hoped to accomplish before the end of the season. The season for me was shortened due to an extremely minor surgery. In the meantime, I have been asking friends and the pros to chime in and help me get to the bottom of my fear and tips on sending it far, far away in time for next season.

First off, I went to my friends and it ended in 2 general thoughts. Some had never even experienced “the fear” so had no advice and the others seem to be in the same boat as me. This made me more eager to get to the bottom of this.

I also went to John Smits, Level 4 Instructor with CASI (Canadian Alliance of Snowboard Instructors) for some help and he had a lot to say on my situation and really made me feel like I’m not  alone in this and not silly for reaching out for advice.


John Smits - CASI 2013

John Smits has been sharing his love of snowboarding as an instructor for 10 years. In that time he have become certified as a level 4 CASI instructor, worked as a level 3 and park 2 evaluator, and completed a Bachelors of Physical Education from the University of Alberta. In the last two years he has also served as a member of the CASI Technical and Education Committee, helping contribute to new material and curriculum for the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors.


First off he agreed with me that getting a refresher lesson is a great idea. With an instructor they can see and assess areas of your technique that may be holding you back from being comfortable out on the slopes.

When taking a refresher lesson with a CASI instructor, they work on re-building confidence. Start with an easier run and build up from there to fine tune the basics.  Once you are comfortable, move to a more challenging run or working on going a little faster. This process is repeated over and over regardless of the student’s ability level.

“As your confidence grows, you can gradually move to more difficult slopes and higher speeds. If the fear starts to come back, move to the easier slopes with the intent of developing skills to make the challenging speed/terrain a little easier”.  (You need to put someone’s name with this quote: like John states:

Secondly John asked me what was scaring me while I was snowboarding. Was it the speed, ice, potential pain from falling or is it the embarrassment of maybe looking like a newbie?

I had to actually think about this and put it into a sequence of which scares me the most. I came up with this order:

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  • Ice and Ice chunks
  • Speed
  • And Chairlifts (a.k.a falling down when getting on or off the chairlift and embarrassing myself)

John also said “If it’s embarrassment, don’t worry. Everybody falls! It’s part of learning. If it’s something else, you need to gradually confront your fears to overcome them.”

So although I cannot provide you with a final result this season, I will put all of this advice together and take a refresher lesson at the start of next season and give you an update. So please stay tuned!

Advice, Tips, Suggestions? Leave them below in the comments section. I would love to hear what you have to say.