Out of all the animals on earth, I’d say humans have come up with the most elaborate and bizarre methods to accomplish the verb “play.” I’d also say skiing and snowboarding are such examples. Fancy equipment on your feet and mechanical chairs galore!
Emilio just shared his skiing adventures. So I also decided to write a report of my day at the slopes yesterday, my first sunny one all year! This post is much less informative, but if you’ve never gone skiing or snowboarding, it might help convince you to try! Minus the part where I talk about the things I lost…
To summarize, it was glorious.
(1) Being outside in the sun, with snow and trees all around sends healing vibes to the soul. The rolling landscape of the Laurentians stretching far off to the horizon, under a cloudless, aquamarine sky. Sparkling blankets of snow. Evening light glancing through the dark shadows of icy trees. Beautiful. And at the end of the day, I joyously noted that I had a minor sunburn!
(2) Adrenaline! My senses and intuition are heightened when I am pushing my limits to go faster and finding the most difficult ways down. It puts a big smile on my face at the bottom!
(3) A strange and unwarranted sense of accomplishment. After all, I only went up and down the same hill all day (with no effort on my part for the “up”).
(4) Good company. Incentive and bonus for doing anything!
There were some significant costs to this memorable day at the mountain.
(1) The first one was my camera. I generally don’t take a lot of pictures, but this time I thought I’d keep a record of my extreme mountain exploits (and take some nice scenery pictures too). So I brought my camera along for the ride, keeping it in my zipped jacket pocket. Or, maybe it wasn’t zipped. I suddenly noticed my jacket felt lighter, and I wasn’t surprised to find my pocket empty. My camera probably fell out after my spectacular midday crash.
(2) Then, a few runs later, we deviated into a dense area of trees to glide smoothly over untouched powder. Dense trees means lots of branches brushing against you from all angles. I hadn’t put on my goggles and they rested on the top of my helmet. When we reached the chairlift at the bottom, another item that had been with me at the top, was gone again…
(3) And finally, there was my wallet. I didn’t lose it! But, it was noticeably lighter after I bought my lift ticket. As Emilio has already noted, skiing and snowboarding are expensive! I like to say “You either have time or money, but it’s hard to have both.” I’d say that my experience as a grad student is more on the “time” side of that spectrum, so extra cash is usually lacking.
Despite these material losses, my happiness levels were (and still are!) as high as an Olympian can jump. Which speaks to the volume of fun you can have going down a hill with fancy equipment on your feet!