The Roper

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When I first saw her she was out of breath and smiling ear to ear. It had been a long push from the out of bounds area back to the busy slopes. The snow was deep that day and well worth the extra effort to access it. “How was that?” I said with a grin of my own. “Awesome!” she replied. “Wanna shred with us?” I piped up. She answered “Yup!” without hesitation.

I figured she must have been half decent on a snowboard to be all the way out there on her own. I could tell she was pumped by the snow just like I was. There was a quick introduction to the others in our group as we strapped in our bindings ready to enjoy the hero snow that was all over the place that day. As we started to drop away and pick up speed down the hill I watched her carefully. Her skills were almost instantly showcased. Within 30 seconds of starting she had my full attention. Spins, grabs, butters, and airs, she was doing it all.

I came alive and fed off her energy bringing my quiver of skills to the table as I demonstrated my own rhythm. It was like my other shred partners didn’t exist. They were intermediate riders at best. They hadn’t given me much of a reason to blossom yet that day. But once she arrived on the scene, that all changed.

I headed straight for a rope barrier with a jump in front of it. I was coming in fast but got scared and chickened out. I looked back half ashamed of myself only to see her pop a fat air clearing the rope and landing gracefully on the other side. My mind was officially blown. Who was this random wicked snowboarder who agreed to join our group?

Her name was Sara but I quickly gave her a new name, a shred name. “The Roper.” I liked it for a couple of reasons obviously it took some balls to jump that rope at high speeds, but it’s also a cowboy term, and I think the best traits of a cowboy play into snowboarding. Cowboys are tough and ballsy. They get bucked off sometimes and have to get back on the horse. Her snowboard was her horse.

I saw the roper get bucked off a few different times that day. It’s a sure sign of a good rider. If you’re not falling you’re not trying hard enough. I pushed her over the big jumps in the park. It was amazing to see her pick herself up and dust herself off after falling 40 ft out of the air and bounce her body off the knuckle of the jump. She’s tough alright.

On the chair the laughs kept coming. She was soft spoken yet excited and happy. The other three of us were single men. It is safe to say we were all interested in impressing her. My one friend tried talking about his luxury home. I cut him off and said “Not me…I live in a Tee Pee” To which she responded “I wanna live in a Tee Pee too!” I liked her more than ever.

As the day rolled along we continued have fun pushing each other on the boards, laughing on the chair and talking about travel. When the time came to part ways at the end of the day, I was honoured that she asked for my phone number. I was excited by the idea of a girl who loves to shred showing interest in me.

I wanted to take her to the trampoline centre and work on more fat airs, but sadly our gap in age came into effect. On the hill it seemed like we were both kids, but in reality she was only nineteen and I was thirty two. A thirteen year spread is hard to ignore. She could have any guy she wants. It just doesn’t seem to make sense. It was a hard thing to do, but I had to just leave it be. I gave up trying to see her again without much of a fight.

This spring we met again. This time just the two of us. It was a great sunny day, and once again we played and danced in the park. I watched her roll up to the cannon feature and launch off it. Her hair seemed to whip from under her helmet as time slowed down. I took a mental picture as the braid snapped like a rattle snake the beams of sunlight seemed to bounce off it high in the air. She was absolutely beautiful in every way that a young women could be.

Sara,

Thanks for your kind words on my post the other day. I hope you enjoy this story as I see you though my eyes. I am happy to write about you for many reasons even though we hardly know each other. I wrote this in an hour. It was easy. I just spoke from the heart. Please keep doing everything you’re doing, and keep me in mind if you ever need anything. I’m happy to help.

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