There are many different reasons why I love skiing. From the speed, the flow, the untapped potential of ski mountaineering…..endless reasons. But it all started from when I was a little kid. That pure feeling of excitement that we all witness when we watch young kids playing. A carefree happiness, its something that gets muddled later on it life and is harder and harder to find. We all know it when we see the wonder in a kids eyes, the excitement as they gain control of their skis and start going recklessly fast. I am reliving this feeling watching my kids.
Its really fun. But for me there is more. As a young kid I feel like we had the twenty cm rule. I am not sure if I have embellished this over the years, but it seems like it happened often. That I would find myself skipping school and enjoying some powder skiing with my parents. So skiing became that much better because I was skipping school. So ever since then when I am skiing, a part of me feels like I am skipping school. And tell me that is not one of the best feelings on earth. The naughty feeling of skipping school combined with fluid powder skiing, exploration, faceshots…. how could anything ever compare with this emotional cocktail of goodness?
I have been taking my kids out occasionally and skipping school with them to pass on this gift. And I think they are starting to associate skiing with skipping school… (all part of my master plan of having them love skiing)
I think that most love skiing because it reminds us of the freedom of being a kid, of having no responsibilities and just having fun. This last week I was ski touring with Trevor Linden, ex captain of the Vancouver Canucks. For him he has rekindled his love for skiing since he retired from 20+ years of professional hockey. Its my feeling that he has found that happiness and freedom he once had as a kid skiing, before he was absorbed into the hockey arenas that made his life and career so successful. So after a huge hiatus he is back and has discovered ski touring, which he obviously crushes.
So go and skip school or work and play a little.
Have you ever taken a big break from a sport and then come back better and more skilled than when you stopped? I have always felt that time off from sports can truly benefit oneself. We dream for hours every night and rarely remember much of those dreams. Could it be possible that we are spending a large portion of that time training in a safe environment?
For years in the fall I would start to have skiing dreams. Usually the ones I remembered I was skiing fast, really fast and completely out of control. I would typically hang on the whole way, bouncing recklessly off moguls and bumps. I think this dream was always insecurity based and my fears of not being good were being lived.But it was a yearly session of dreams, I remembered those but what about all the ones I never remember? Could I be spending hours practicing?
The last few years I have picked up mountain biking. I bike hard and fast all summer, training, and doing all sorts of dorky things to hone my skills. I feel lots of evolution during these months but it seems the most drastic change is during the off season. Each year when I have returned to biking I have always had more control and understanding than when I left off. Better balance, better feel for the bike. I never remember training but somehow I have progressed without doing anything in real life.
Lately I have been working on butter 360’s. I am nowhere near getting it but I keep trying. Anytime I am out with the kids I am trying to get on my tips and butter around. Aiden said to me” Dad that trick is so easy, when I start doing tricks that will be the first one I do. That’s how easy it is…” Its not that easy for me. Then the other night I was dreaming of the move and pulling it off tonnes. I knew it was a dream but I could feel the weight transfer and the pressure I needed to butter the tips around. The body was learning the motion and I felt like I was progressing; in my dreams. I was learning the skill and knew I needed to bring this back to real life. I even understoof that I could hurt myself in the dream and I wouldn’t be hurting myself in real life. Then, a few days after the dream, I was out and trying them again, and I was so much closer to understanding them. It wasn’t a ‘hallelujah ‘ moment where I started nailing the trick, but it was a lot closer and more fluid than ever before.
I guess I just have to keep on working them in real life, dreaming them at night and then perhaps one day I will be able to butter a 360….and make it look cool….
Life has been full of guiding, lots of great skiing but no big lines to blog about. Just great skiing. Today was pretty epic. really awesome snow, screaming and hollering the whole way down.