Yeah self important title, but stay with me. It will get good.
So its time for my annual skiing contemplation blog entry. Scroll down for the photographic magic if you are not a fan of reading.
Good. You decided to stay. Well, here’s a bit of what I have been thinking about on the ski lift of late. The first thing I thought of lately is that skiing is hugely private for me. We leave in the middle of the night for the trips. Getting up at 4:15am is normal. Sometimes its 3:45am. I get on the bus and I fall asleep IMMEDIATELY. Then I wake up and we’re magically in Vermont, Maine or New Hampshire. None of my friends ever see me do this and my family doesn’t either. I don’t see anyone I know on the mountain. Sometimes I might run into people from the ski club that I go on the trips with, but mostly I do this solitary.
Maybe this would bother some people but not me. Skiing is my own private thing that I just do alone. I also like the fact that I’m mostly silent for the entire day. I like talking to the people on the lifts, especially ski patrol but sometimes its just me and my fellow skier heading up the mountain, alone in silence. Sometimes people start conversation with me in the lodge, sometimes not. But this silence helps me straighten out whatever I need to straighten out for the week or from a long time before.
Ah yes, the vagabondage that is included in the title. It refers to a line from Philipe Petit, my favorite folk hero, the crazy person who swung a tight rope between the two towers of the World Trade Center. He said that when other worlds invite us, that we must go. That’s how I feel about skiing. He also said that his walk between the towers was an intimate performance between him and the towers, which is also how I feel about skiing. My persistent vagabondage, testing the laws of gravity with the waxed boards on my feet.
I’m up there hitting my own goals and milestones too. They aren’t milestones that make sense to most people. I skied this black six times in a straight line. I skied it four times and I carved half of the way down. I need to do that run again because I was turning too much. I could go faster than I was going before. I stayed on black until 3:45pm, the end of the ski day. Perfecting, perfecting, perfecting. I was talking to my mom recently about skiing and of course I used an analogy from my other favorite sport, gymnastics. I’m more Morgan Hurd than Olga Korbut. Morgan is the pint sized, glasses wearing, incredibly poised 17 year old who was world champion in 2017. Her gymnastics is about perfect execution and beauty. She’s not a daredevil like Olga Korbut. Neither am I. Early on, I realized its a sport about form, not speed. Then I really fell in love.
Well, anyway, some photography here at the end. Sorry I didn’t take more pictures. I was too busy skiing: