I left work a half hour early, and drove about an hour and a half north, with Young, a co-worker of mine here at SMS. He took me to a place he's been to quite a bit, and he had an extra board. So I just had to rent boots for $10 and buy a lift ticket for $20, for 3 hours of painful learning. Every time down the hill I picked up a tiny bit more, and by the end of the evening my legs and arms were shaking, my head was spinning, and I could make it down a run even doing slow 360's and just barely going in every direction that a snowboarder naturally goes! (It took awhile to be able to turn around and kinda go backwards on my toes instead of heels.) There were a couple times that I was sure I bruised my tailbone, or pinched a nerve in my neck, or fractured a wrist. But lo and behold, I'm fine. Can't wait to go again next week!
In other news, I just noticed that today is the feast day of the saint I chose for my Confirmation name, St. Sebastian. And I learned something new about him today, I always thought his martyrdom was being shot to death by arrows.
Nothing is historically certain about St. Sebastian except that he was a Roman martyr, was venerated in Milan even in the time of St. Ambrose and was buried on the Appian Way, probably near the present Basilica of St. Sebastian. Devotion to him spread rapidly, and he is mentioned in several martyrologies as early as a.d. 350.
The legend of St. Sebastian is important in art, and there is a vast iconography. Scholars now agree that a pious fable has Sebastian entering the Roman army because only there could he assist the martyrs without arousing suspicion. Finally he was found out, hailed before Emperor Diocletian and delivered to Mauritanian archers to be shot to death. His body was pierced with arrows, and he was left for dead. But he was found still alive by those who came to bury him. He recovered, but refused to flee. One day he took up a position near where the emperor was to pass. He accosted the emperor, denouncing him for his cruelty to Christians. This time the sentence of death was carried out. Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs.