Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get It.

After two days of staring longingly out the window, I’m finally taking tomorrow off . . . To install a dishwasher.  That’s right, no skiing until this weekend.  I looked at the calendar and, although I am not big on counting days, I already have 22 days on snow (all alpine - ugh - except for that first day @ Whiteface).  That’s not half bad, all things considered.

I guess I’m just biding my time, waiting for opportunity, and getting ready to blast off.  I still feel like the season has barely started.  Despite some epic posts, there are still some reports of low base levels and sketchy conditions (even in the places that got hammered the last few days).  And Meathead films just barely kicked off their filming for this year’s video.

Starting in February, I’ll be skiing 4 to 5 times a week, so I’m not really fretting my lack of ski days right now.  Plus I’ve been busy at work.  I’ve got a big presentation that I’m giving a week from Monday, and finding enough time for everything is getting more difficult.  Maybe I need a lesson on work/life balance.  Here’s a section of an article I read the other day:
While contemplating work issues, Robinson realized that millions of Americans lack basic "life skills," which are quite different from those you employ on the job. They have forgotten how to have fun and enjoy life in their non-work hours. They are beaten down by their jobs and unfulfilled by their lives. Part of the problem lies in a fantastic proliferation in recent years of home-entertainment options and digital devices that keep us at a distance from physical reality. We are ever more immersed in alternative realities that can be enthralling and relaxing after a hard day of work, but keep us from spending our time in recreation, hobbies, or community activities that would actually make us happy. Those pursuits are essential if we want to satisfy our core needs -- autonomy, competence and relatedness -- according to Robinson.
Another obstacle to our happiness is that we often pursue our few leisure activities with a "performance mind." We play tennis to win, yoga only to get fit, or travel to put notches on our "great experiences" belt. It's all about accomplishment and competition, when it should mostly be about the intrinsic value of what we pursue, as Robinson convincingly explains in his book. "Art for art's sake," not "art for ego's sake," will make us deeply happy. Play is the thing, to misquote Shakespeare.

A couple of things about this: First, I am going to use this as further evidence of my glowing boxes hypothesis (more glowing boxes=less happiness).  Second, perhaps my resolutions were a bit skewed. One of my resolutions was to make one post a month that makes people want to be where I am.  But is that goal really about my happiness?  Or is more of an ego boost?  A “look at me”-type boasting?  Come to think of it, maybe all ski blogging is an exercise in masturbatory self-congratulation.  Are we really making ourselves happier, or just trying to make ourselves seem cooler?

I’ve thought about this, and I’m pretty sure I’d be making videos, taking pictures, and writing this blog even if nobody was reading it (and, judging by the traffic statistics, that’s pretty close to the truth).  I write things like this because I’m going to want to look back at this someday to see what I was thinking at this point in my life.  I take pictures because I want to see what it looked like when I was living.  I shoot and edit video because I enjoy it.

So is it bad that I strive to make one blog post a month that makes people say “wow”?  Absolutely Not!  Anything that inspires me to get outside and go skiing, is something that I want to embrace.  And to that end, here’s a recent article on backcountry

Fast-forward four years to the ’08-’09 snow season, my last in Utah. In that time I had morphed from a wide-eyed powder neophyte to a bona fide snow snob. I would wake up in the morning and call the Solitude snow report: “We’ve received seven inches overnight and nine inches in a 24 hour period …
Seven inches? I’ll just go to work.
Seriously? Go to work? What was I thinking?
Let’s stop here for a minute. I have to preface all this. I now live in Vermont, where a seven-inch powder day doesn’t get scoffed at. Last season—which I’m told was meager at best—we got two, maybe three days of only seven inches. No matter. Every time I went out with Vermonters, they were grinning ear-to-ear whether we were slaloming through hardwoods or carving on the groomers.
This winter has started off much more promising. The snow is slowly accumulating and we’re one big dump away from full coverage. (Bring it on Nor-Easter!) If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that skiers and snowboarders in Vermont don’t mess around with numbers: “If it’s good, get it.”

Exactly.  If there’s one code to live by in the east, that’s pretty much spot on.  Maybe that dishwasher installation can wait . . .


  1. I read everything you post, but you probably don't know that as I only recently signed up as a "follower"...and have never commented.
    I'm not a skier, nor a biker so I just thought my comments would be less than knowledgeable, but I like your outlook on work, life, play.
    You may just have a following you don't know about, people like me who like to read short stories by people like you who are good with words and give reason for thought and almost the desire for a non-skier to ski on powder!

  2. I read it all too. It's good for my balance. Maybe just ONE pic from Rumor tomorrow? ;)

  3. I read it all too. I try to balance being in Buffalo with reading TR's and following the weather.

    Taylor keeps telling me it makes things worse.

    I think she's right about that, but I keep doing it anyways. Unfortunately, reading isn't getting me any turns and I got a D in calc.

    To make it worse, I think reading TR's on the EC Roll Call thread, watching the weather and the VT Spine getting dumped on, and four days in Utah is turning me into a snow snob. I need to invest in warmer feet and skis with edges.