(Editor’s note: Dave has got a travelogue going he agreed to share. Western road trip, skiing, OR show, stuff like that. Enjoy. ‘best, Lou)
I open my eyes. I close them again.
I roll over.
With a sigh I pull myself out of bed and make coffee. Not the best start.
No, it wasn’t a late night. I didn’t go to any bars actually. Drinks? None. I think I slept 11 hours. Headache, no. More like heart ache.
My wife left the house hours ago. All my friends left at a similar time. No one bothered to call me though.
Those dreaded words in the winter…I’m injured. Hurt. I can’t ski.
That pretty much wraps up my early winter so far. I’m currently healing from a non-serious injury, but a slow healing injury. Talked to a friend today how she just tweaked her knee. Another friend broke his ankle. All of us taking it easy, trying to hurry up and wait for our bodies to heal.
You always hate to see a friend injured. You feel for them. “Let me know if you need anything.” But secretly we’re glad it wasn’t us. And then, it is us. You see your ski season flash before your eyes. How long till I’m back? All the things you took for granted days ago are now a golden goose egg.
But hope springs eternal. We heal. Sometimes to 100%, sometimes not. But we’re usually skiing in a week, a month, or at least next year. In that time off we learn to appreciate all the good things about skiing (and life), and see past the trivial. Suddenly it’s about a freedom from skiing even the most benign Blue Square. About taking full advantage of the snow you have, instead of the powder you want. About skinning up anything; just being outside — who cares if it was a knoll more than a peak.
I finally got out again last week. Only a couple groomers at the resort. I smiled the whole drive up. Ear to ear grin as I made conservative turns back to the bottom. Those 300 turns were ecstasy.
I’m still not fully healed, but have a newly appreciated adventure coming up. I’m heading down to the Outdoor Retailer trade show. If I’m lucky a morning tour in the Wasatch will not send me home limping again. Then through Colorado to show a friend my recent stomping grounds. And finally to visit my new nephew, Aiden, in Denver.
I have permission from my sister to take the new dad (her husband) out skiing for a day. The snow sounds bad, though the snow falling out my window right now may cure that. But it’s not about the snow now. It’s the adventure, and the friends, new views, fresh air. I’m excited to simply be leaving the office. Yeah, I’d be happy if I were going without skis. But the skis will make it better.
I’ve seen a lot of negative energy in the skiing community this winter. Everyone getting all worked up about “secret stashes” being discovered by everyone else. About skiing being ruined by this or that. Getting mad about it.
What is it? Is it the fact that we live in the mountains and get to ski on a regular basis, if only every weekend. We are angry that the snow is slightly less than perfect? Does that rule out being outdoors? Are friendships invalidated by these hardships? Is skiing no longer fun?
I’m looking forward to skiing with a bunch of over played, over hyped locales in the next week. I’m looking forward to the people I get to ski with. I’m looking forward just to make a few turns on snow.
(Guest blogger profile: Dave Downing and his wife Jessica live in Whitefish, MT, where he is a freelance designer and owner of Ovid Nine Graphics Lab. Dave has been told that there is nothing to see in Montana, so please move along.)