For all the egos that skiing can bring to the mountain, don’t forget we are just participating a slightly less dangerous form of sledding.
You may wonder while sitting at the base area…why do we do this? Is it for the thrill? For the image? For the jackets, the pants, the swag? Do we do it for exercise? History will tell us that we do it for the hunt, but those roots have long lost their place in today’s world. I sometimes, however, feel like hunting some of the D bags that take over in droves during the month of March.
March is, well, madness. To put it in perspective, our mountain does ⅓ of it’s business for the entire season during the month of March. States ill represented throughout the year such as Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida make their grand entrance and then of course there’s Texas, who drops the mother load on resorts all across skiing communities in the US, but especially in Colorado. And for this, our Southern brothers and sisters, we are thankful. You pay our bills, pay for us to live, and pay for our cheap ass beer; for our concert tickets and plane tickets; for our reason to live. For us, without skiing, winter is an abysmal cold time of the year. What good is snow if you can’t play in/on it?
Play. That’s the point.
I spent my day today watching kids giggle, laugh, shout, and wallow in pure joy that extends beyond just that very basic feeling of sliding on snow. On the bunny hill, we made it so because the point of today wasn’t to ski–the point was to have a f!@#*&%g blast. In the brief moment before I was to fire a snowball across the slope towards my student who was sitting on his own pile of pristinely handcrafted snowballs, I thought, “This is skiing?” My students wondered the same thing, albeit briefly. Before I could blink there was snowball slush cascading down my goggle. Nice shot, bud.
It’s all skiing, but they don’t have to know that. As far as the kids are concerned, they’re skiing down to the green bubble to pick up snowballs to carry to the bottom of the hill where they can fire away at their siblings. In my eyes, I see concerted efforts to stop, turn, and control their speed, development in pressure control from foot to foot, and proper skiing position. In their eyes, it’s war.
A child’s objective on the hill should be universal–simple unadulterated fun.
With the craziness of getting your kids to ski school on time, renting gear, figuring out which $20 meal you want to spend your money on, don’t forget you’re in the mountains. Take a breath and let it all go.
As a PSA for this Spring Break season, remember to have fun, but please, follow some ground rules. Number one, don’t kill anyone on the green run designated for learning with your breakneck speeds you have honed since your lesson three years ago. Number two, be nice to your ski patrollers and thank them for getting your broken limbs, and that dude in the godforsaken Patriots jersey, down the mountain in one piece whenever you neglect rule number one.
Finally, be a kid. Smile. This guy does.
It’s just skiing.
PS If you really want to smile, head to the Northeast. They got one of those Nor’easter’s and it’s a dandy.