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Season 8 E 19 • 02/16/2008
Colorado Springs' Care Bear-lovin' Tara is ultra popular and ultra prissy. She's well liked in school, gets good grades and always looks good doing it. High school is no stress for this sophomore, but when it comes to being home, that's another story. Tara is the self-proclaimed odd-one-out -- everyone in the family is competitive and athletic, while youngest she is klutzy and apathetic. But she's hoping to change everyone's perception about her -- Tara wants to be MADE into a kick-ass snowboarder. But can a girl who is never without lip gloss strap on a board and be MADE into a speeding snowboarder that can beat the competition? Tara's hoping she can tackle the tricks and get some air, but first she has to tackle her family's doubt. They point out her penchant for giving in, but she shrugs it off and keeps on with her hopes of mastering the slopes. A typical, boring day at school swiftly melts into a welcome surprise. Opening her locker, Tara discovers it is jammed with all the latest and coolest snowboarding supplies, from a hot pink snowboard to cute quilted boots. Attached is a note from her MADE coach, asking her to deck herself out in all the gear and trudge outside. When Tara meets her coach, Gravity Games and Olympic qualifier Jesse Csincsak, he slyly sneaks up behind her and empties a box of fake snow over her head. Now, that's a greeting! Tara confesses that she has quit every sport she's ever played, and Jesse tells her she's going to have to toughen up to be MADE into a snowboarder that's ready to compete. She's also going to have to accept the fact that she may break something, as he lists off all the bones he's broken over the years: nose, ankle and fingers to name a few. Ouch! Tara's goal is to learn a frontside 180, board slide a flat box and 50/50 a flat rail so that she can handle a snowboarding competition -- yeah, not sure what those are either -- but she'll know them inside out by the end of her training. The weekend hits and Tara's heads to Breckenridge, ready to hit the hills. With butt pads in place, Tara meets MADE coach Jesse Csincsak and learns the all-important how-to-stand-up-while-snapped-into-the-board move. She slides forward and backward and eventually makes it up. The second day on the snow, Tara learns turns, and Jesse makes it all fun. There's the "Pamela Anderson" -- hips forward, back arched -- and the "Jennifer Lopez, where she sticks her butt out. From the hills to the gym, Jesse puts Tara on the machines, helmet intact. When he brings out the balance board, however, it proves to kick her butt. Done for the day, Tara heads home, only to be grilled by mom and dad. Ah, home sweet home. At school, Tara's eager to show off her scrapes and bruises to see her friends' reactions. Meanwhile, MADE coach Jesse Csincsak's full of surprises -- he shows up one day just as Tara pulls into her driveway after school and tells her she's got a workout awaiting her. Jesse reads a magazine as a breathless Tara sprints up and down her monster driveway. Just as she is about to give in, Jesse tells her that she doesn't want to be a SPORE (aka A Stupid Person on Rental Equipment). This little reminder keeps Tara running, but soon enough they head indoors to do 100 sit down, stand up's on the snowboard. She's not excited but does it as Jesse looks on and enjoys a slice of cake and a few giggles with dad, who's sure she's going to quit. Back at Breckenridge, Tara is told she's going to start working on tricks. MADE coach Jesse Csincsak goes through the tricks, sailing around like it's nothing. When Tara follows, she tumbles. Her fear of falling overwhelms her, but then snowboard cutie Ian helps her up. He builds up her self-esteem and gets her focused on impressing him by conquering the trick. To reward Tara for her progress, Jesse invites her out to dinner with him and two of his friends, Spencer and AJ, two kids who know everything about snowboarding. Jesse knows Tara needs to learn how to speak the lingo in order to fit in, as well as to better understand the sport. At dinner, the guys reel off some of their daily speak, leaving Tara totally confused. Before the sun's up, MADE coach Jesse Csincsak takes Tara out on a freezing three-mile jog as he zooms along beside her in a snowmobile. And the day's not over yet! Tara gets on her board and zooms along and falls a lot. After some tough love from Jesse and another fall, Tara gives her notice and walks away. On day 24, though, Tara is surprised by Jesse -- he knows she's been in a bad mood, but he hopes that seeing a competition first-hand will inspire her to get back up on the board. He's right! A star-struck Tara gets to meet gold medalist Shaun White, the best snowboarder in the world. She's overexcited and ready to shred. The next day, MADE coach Jesse Csincsak takes Tara out for some off-snow training, hitting up a gym designed for catching air. Tara snaps her shoes into the board and jumps on a trampoline, making the jumps look easy. Jesse's sure she'll be in for a shock when she has to do it on the snow. As her training progresses, Tara has more jumping ahead of her, but this time it's on fresh powder. Luckily, this comes really easy to Tara and she nails the jumps. Jesse's pleased and Tara's self-esteem is strengthened. The next day, Jesse's got to leave town, but Ian's all excited to take his place as the snowboarding guy in Tara's world. He promises to teach her a few tricks of his own and, in between giving her pointers on her jumps, he asks her out for a night on the (brisk) town, complete with horse-drawn carriage. Aw! Later, MADE coach Jesse Csincsak calls Tara for a late-night quiz on her boarding lingo. Defining "dust on crust" goes right over Tara's head and she ultimately fails the quiz. Jesse makes it his job to put the pressure on Tara and reminds her of the short time they have left before she can compete. At practice, Jesse sees Tara's improvement. However, not all is perfect on the hills. Ian hasn't called Tara in days and, with New Year's Eve around the corner, she's feeling lonely. The next night, Jesse pays back Tara for losing the quiz. She's got 12 boards to wax for him and his friends. But not only does she have to deal with the boards and the hot wax, she has to confront Ian who just so happens to show up. He plays innocent and tells her he'll catch her later, and his blow-off follows Tara onto the hills. When her father shows up on the snow, as an invite from Jesse, he places a lot of extra stress on Tara. He wants to see her perform, but, unfortunately, Tara's performance wrecks her confidence. MADE coach Jesse Csincsak reminds her that her dad is only one person watching and critiquing -- she'll have to deal with a lot more people at a competition! Soon, Tara's cascading down the hill and pulling tricks that Jesse thinks are the best she's pulled thus far. Tara's dad is sincerely impressed by his daughter's performance and his words of encouragement remind Tara that he'll always support her. After six weeks of training, Tara is ready for the big competition ... well, as ready as she'll ever be! Tara's nerves are working her up but she's got a full support system -- friends, family and MADE coach Jesse Csincsak. Her warm-up goes poorly, which heightens her nerves. As Tara takes the course, she can't t get her moves right. While the competitors whip by, Tara's self-esteem plummets. Jesse encourages her as her family and friends cheer her name, and she starts acing the tricks and takes second place! She's no longer a quitter, she's been MADE into a snowboarder!