How To Fall Down A Mountain — My Snowboarding Essay at Medium

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I’ve never really written essays, at least, not for someone else to publish. Well, Medium just published an essay I wrote. It’s called “How To Fall Down A Mountain.” It’s about me trying to snowboard. Which is to say, it’s about how to snowboard, and how to go about learning in the worst possible way. It’s also about fear. And waffles. Check out if you have a minute. Well, a few minutes. It’s kind of long. But it should also be pretty entertaining. I get hurt a lot, and you get to laugh at me a lot and, that’s just a win for everybody, right?

It’s also about how this happened:

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But I’m scared of people reading it. Which is why I wrote it. It’s a true story, but it’s also kind of an allegory. The part about fear — that got really personal. I put a lot into it — time, and energy, yeah, but also my heart. I wrote about something I’ve never written about before. I wrote about living with clinical anxiety and OCD, and some other stuff.

So yeah. On second thought, maybe don’t go read it.

Just kidding. I want you to read it.

But I am pretty nervous what you’re going to think. Most of you don’t know about my problems. I sort of wanted to keep it that way. Too late now I guess. But knowing people know I have problems makes me nervous. But then, I’m often nervous about everything, because of the anxiety. Besides, we’ve all got problems. Stupid anxiety.

If it makes me so nervous, why write about it? Fair question.

It started out as just a doofy essay about sucking at snowboarding. I tried to keep the anxiety stuff out of it. But then that felt dishonest. I like to be honest. I’m not always good at being honest, but I want to be good at it. So that’s one reason why. The honesty.

Another reason is that while I was writing this, I discovered that 40 million Americans over age 18 have been diagnosed with one anxiety disorder or another. That’s a lot of people. And those are just the ones who’ve been diagnosed. So that’s another reason. Thankfully, my problems are relatively moderate. Thankfully, I have an incredible wife who is patient and tough and strong, and helps me through my neuroses. Thankfully, I have great friends. Thankfully, I have very much to be thankful for.

Even still, I know how isolating and alienating suffering from a mental illness can be. If you have the same problems as me, or know somebody who does, I hope my silly little story helps in some small way.

The last reason why I wrote it is because I was scared to write it. And I really hate being scared of something being a reason why I don’t do it.

But now I’m starting to plagiarize myself, because I say something like that in the essay.

Go read it.

No, don’t.

I don’t know.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a splendid day.

This has been a blog post.

— B.

4 Responses
  1. Greg Cauley

    As I read that essay, my mind flipped between images from a Looney Tune (you’re too young to understand/appreciate them), the thought of Sonny Bono on the side of a mountain, wondering how the ski patrol chases intoxicated skiers, and how many times your life passed before your eyes. Most excellent job, my friend.

    1. Brandon

      Dude. No. I LOVED Looney Tunes back in the day. Are you kidding? SPACE JAM ALL DAY.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  2. I was planning on writing a ‘perspective’ blog post this afternoon but per the usual, I was most likely going to chicken out. It’s completely comforting to know that other people have similar issues. I thank you for your honesty. Now, I WILL write today (and actually hit ‘post’)!