Sammy Swanson Snowboarding diary: Waiting around to turn up

March 31, 2014
(Vast Action )

Editor's note: Costa Mesa High sophomore Sammy Swanson, a decorated snowboarder, was in Colorado to compete in the 2014 USA Snowboarding Assn. nationals, where he placed sixth in boardercross on Sunday. This is his first-person diary of his experience:

I'm there laying in my very warm, but uncomfortable bed, preparing to get up and step into the cold living room to get ready for the big day.

I run through everything I have to do to get prepared and take a deep breath. I get up, and step out into the living room to see my mom laying on the couch with the lights on. She was getting ready to wake me up but had to try and sneak in a 5-minute power nap before the eventful day starts.

She's delighted that I'm awake and starts asking me what I want for breakfast, and what I need to get ready, and all these questions about what I need.


All I know is that I want some oatmeal and then, boom, there it is. It's like my parents read my mind (or I told them I wanted oatmeal the night before but I'm not sure).

I eat slowly and tiredly.

Still sore from the day before, I get all my gear on and we head out to the car. I make sure that I have my lucky penny, bracelet, and socks on before the big day ahead of me. We drive to the mountain and my dad is making jokes pretending to act like a coach saying things like "now remember, put the secret sauce on during quarterfinals" and "don't stop turning up."

We get in the parking lot, and of course, it's picture time. My mom needs a picture of me with every one for everyone. She needs a Selfie, an Instagram picture, a Facebook picture, a Twitter picture, a Snapchat picture. Everything! But I recognize I'm going to enjoy looking at them in the future and comply with her wants.

Both my parents give me a kiss and send me off.

I head up to the chairlift and there is nobody there. I get to the course and notice that I am the first one there.

Now, this is odd because I am usually late to things, but not this time I guess. I get my spot set up and chill for about 15 minutes. Everybody starts rolling in slowly, but not me. I'm ready.

We run through the course for inspection one time and then practice starts. Because I am the first one there, I get the most practice laps, which is an essential bonus.

Now it's time to wait.

I wait for around 30 minutes for time trials to start (a time trial is a race by yourself that gets timed and used to place you in heats among other riders).

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles