My Happy Place
One of the things I love most about skiing is that you can go out solo and have a blast all by your lonesome. On Friday morning I was lucky enough to find some free time to get out early and do some soul skiing. Without sounding too new-agey, I am going to take this opportunity to wax poetic about the spiritual connection that many, like myself, have with the mountains.
The first-run line of diehards (great people- they truly embody the notion of living to “mountain”) at the Orange Bubble Express had already dissipated, so as I sat down on my plush, heated seat I had just my thoughts for company. I don’t know whether it’s the crisp air, the natural beauty, or being away from the world’s many distractions that allows me to think on a chairlift better than anywhere else. As I rode up the mountain on the brilliant feat of engineering, I had a lot to contemplate and be grateful for. Of course there are the obvious ones – being paid to ski, my luxurious winter accommodations, etc … But strangely enough, what came to mind was much simpler. For instance, the fact that I had a ten-year career on the US Ski Team and retired (more or less) completely unscathed. I was also struck with a deep gratitude for all the amazingly loving people that have touched my life. After trying to mentally breakdown the series of people that were instrumental in helping me land this gig, I finally had to give up when I arrived at the top. There are a lot.
I have to admit that all profound thoughts were thrown to the wind when my skis reached snow. Ah, the wonders of autopilot! I was skiing and obviously in some far off recess of my brain there were synapses telling my body what movements to make, but for the most part, I feel skiing is best described as pure, unadulterated joy. And there is no better sanctuary to experience this than Canyons Resort. Terrain for every level, amazing conditions, and the famous Utah snow that seems heaven sent. While skiing, my priorities, obligations, and worries, at least for a moment, fall away, and everything is right in the world.
Yogis, monks, and therapists have their modes of fulfillment and awareness, and I deeply respect that. However, I struggle to embrace any of their meditations when my form is so perfect. Whether it is dodging trees in a gully, sweeping through a powdered glade, laying fat arcs on a groomer or dropping into a chute, skiing is my happy place.
Trying to get radical (keyword: “trying”) and laying some tracks…