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One of my favorite parts about pursuing a more active lifestyle over the last couple years has been all the different opportunities it’s given me to try new things, create new hobbies, and even make new friends.
I started learning how to snowboard a couple years ago, and when I started, I was TERRIBLE. People who are good at snowboarding make it look so easy and effortless but it is a total workout; you’re essentially in a squat most of the time, using your quads and glutes to support yourself, and you have to engage your core pretty constantly for balance and direction. 
When I first started, it was hard just to get off the lift without falling, and it certainly was not a fun, easy breezy ride down the mountain.

Girl snowboarding in beige jacket
Anyone who knows me knows that I hate being bad at things. Being the second youngest of four siblings, I’m competitive, and I’m also just really determined. I think it probably has something to do with the years of competition dance I did, repeating the same steps over and over until I had them committed to muscle memory. That same level of perfectionism typically bleeds into most of the things I do, but what’s been great about new hobbies like snowboarding, is that you really can’t force them. Learning how to snowboard certainly tested my physical fitness (and I will say I’ve gotten so much better since I started strength training and improved my leg and core strength!), but it also requires me to learn how to be okay with failing.

Girl in black jacket and red snow pants standing in snow on snowboard
My family and I took a trip to Utah at the end of January and it was my first time snowboarding again in about a year. I noticed such a huge difference in my balance and strength which was super encouraging and motivating. To know that my daily workouts were improving more than just my overall health was a bonus. Beyond that, I also noticed how much more okay I was about the fact that I was falling and failing at times.

woman holding baby in snow
I think it’s a really important part of our self-development and self esteem to try new things, allow ourselves to be bad at them, and then work until we improve. It was so gratifying to me to be able to see how much progress I had made and how much better I was at snowboarding when I just decided to let it be fun and enjoy it. I wasn’t mad at myself for not being as good as my boyfriend (who is annoyingly good at almost everything athletic), or for falling or looking silly—life is a lot easier when you learn how to laugh at yourself.
Boy in black jacket and beige pants holding snowboard on the street
Hobbies, to me, are so important to an overall lifestyle change. Obviously we have our daily routines like workouts, sleep schedules, and daily diets, but we are humans, not robots. We need NOURISHMENT for our mind, body, and soul, and part of that is what we do outside of our routines—what we do for fun. Fun is the spice of life, and if we don’t find ways to change our methods of play to align with our overall lifestyle, we’ll never enjoy a lifestyle change. Beyond that, the ways in which we choose to have fun are usually the ways we build community, too. Finding people who like to spend their time in a healthy way is so essential to true well-being, because comprehensive wellness requires a support system, or at least it has in my case. Keeping myself accountable is way easier when everyone around me is committed to being their healthiest selves, too. 

Girl snowboarding down mountain
If you’re following me on snapchat or instagram, make sure to shoot me a DM with a hobby you’re looking forward to trying this year, or something you think I should try! This is the year of trying new things, letting ourselves fail forward, and focusing on our comprehensive well-being. I can’t wait to show you all more of what’s been bringing me joy lately…<3 
Sienna Mae Gomez