78 Days until Ski Season Begins

78 days for me at least. And I found an excellent blog / podcast by Jackson Hogen.

This article is great: On Taking What the Mountain Gives You.

Americans tend to treat all athletic endeavors as metaphors for war. Our most cherished spectator sports are either grounded in a military ethos (football) or are brutally confrontational (NASCAR, cage fighting) and this winner-moves-on, loser-goes-home mentality bleeds into other arenas.

Skiers also compete head-to-head in countless ways (remember ballet?), but 99% of skiers aren’t competing for anything yet they often bring to the slopes an attitude that this heart-pounding activity must be a contest with… something.

It’s hard to conceive of a less constructive attitude to bring to the mountain. Skiing need not be a battle against others and it must not be a duel with the mountain itself. It’s not about winning and it’s certainly not about beating someone. Thanks to advanced GPS technology, it’s now possible to track every moment of your ski day, including your top speed, vertical consumed, number of runs, steepest pitch, every stat you can dream up; it’s not about that, either.

Skiing is about discovering something about yourself that you wouldn’t otherwise learn. It’s about getting off the groomers and following the path into the trees. It’s about challenging your assumptions about what constitutes perfection. There are some skiers who will only eat powder; others who dine only on groomage. Both are missing the point of why we ski in the first place. The path to self-discovery is not measured in the number of consecutive blue trams caught or the depth of the powder plumbed that day. To find what you’re really looking for requires a different relationship with the mountain, not an adversarial one, but a bond, a connection via passion, understanding, respect, and yes, love.

I am guilty of being a GPS and tracking nut thanks to Slopes. And I think it is great to advocate for how you love to participate in a sport or hobby such as skiing, Christmas lights, biking, etc. But I don't love it when the tone turns too much into "my way is the right way and you guys are all doing in wrong."

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