I have decided to try snowboarding. People are telling me I'm crazy. I want to do it just to get out of the house and try something new. I was good at skateboarding, so I think I can do this.

Friends say I'm going to hurt myself. I do have a bad knee. But I'm not goinig to go barreling down the hill. I just want to get good at the basics and go down a hill cleanly and with ease. I won't attempt any jumps or things like that.

I've heard from many, many people that beginners fall so much the first and second time they go that snowboarding takes perseverance. My whole thought is to not quit until I've taken three lessons and everyone says the third time it kind of clicks.

If someone reading this is like me, then allow me to share some great tips I found online:

1. Go to a professional instructor. A friend is free, but they're likely to laugh when you fall instead of critique your posture and angle of the knee. Professionals teach older people all the time and know what works.

2. Wear a helmet.

3. Understand that your calves and thigh muscles are going to get a real workout. Do some leg-strengthening exercises and balance exercises before your first lesson.

4. Get into an exercise routine before you go -- even if it's just daily walking. This will loosen your  muscles and improve recovery time after a day of falling.

5. Stretch before you go to the lesson.

6. Keep your arms down. When learning a new balancing activity, you'll be tempted to wave your arms to achieve balance. This makes you unstable on a snowboard. Instead, listen to your instructor carefully to learn how to balance with your hips, knees and ankles.