Am I a “skier” or do I just ski?

March 9, 2010 at 4:06 am (Uncategorized) ()

It’s been a tough year for the skier in me.  Lackluster snow, a busy “real” life, and disharmony in the time available-good predicted weather conditions equation. That just won’t do for a person (me) that is self-labeled “a skier.”  Coming into the sport late in life (I was 14 when the Man Unit taught me) and having had lots of breaks where the last thing I thought about in winter was the price of a season lift ticket, puts me squarely on the side of the person who skis as opposed to the skier.  After all, I’ve never spent a season working a ski town bar just for the thrill of being able to make first runs everyday.  I’ve never skied a double black diamond.  Never downhill skied in the trees. Does this make me a poser?  At 11 AM this morning I decided, once-and-for-all, I am a person who likes to ski.  I am not a skier.  It was cold and wet, conditions were OK but not great, and I hung it up.  The girl that zoomed down a run at Squaw Valley, hit a bump doing 60 MPH and busted a ski, she’s older now. The girl that skied with her Dad and sister at Breckenridge back in the day, she has more sense now than to jump on a black diamond run in pursuit of bragging rights.  I can remember chasing (always chasing) the Man Unit and his equally awesome ski pals, scared out of my mind and trying to hide it, and feeling that oh-so-fricking-wrong feeling in my knee and knowing the only way down was on a toboggan. I’m ready to admit I love to ski, but a skier I’m not-so-much.  I love the easy runs on a blue sky day.  I fear the black runs on an icy day.  I dig the thrill of going fast.  I hate being out of control.  Bump runs-only by accident.  Trudging up an unmarked trail to make my “own” ski run on the side of a mountain, are you crazy?  Great equipment has made me able to stay on the mountain longer and for that I’m grateful.  Careful pre-season conditioning has kept me from getting hurt and getting the most out of each ski day.  But I’m not a “100+” skier (a person that skis a minimum of 100 days per season), I’m a “I-ski-enough-to-make-buying-a-season-pass-economical” kind of person that skis.  I do miss some of the elements of being a skier. The beers after a long day on the slopes, the full week of eating pancakes and pizza, and the bragging rights associated with taking on a new mountain. But when I think of the best days I’ve ever had skiing, they have nothing to do with any of these things.  The best days I have ever had skiing were not on the slopes of the Rockies, but on the flat trails of a midwestern forest preserve on cross country skis with my man and my girls when we were all much younger,  a thermos of cocoa and a brown bag filled with peanut butter crackers making the outing complete. I hope I can keep downhill skiing for decades to come, but nothing will every measure up to those precious few winters when we were all much younger and the thrills were of a more memorable and sublime nature.

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Hello world!

March 2, 2010 at 4:40 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Some of you might remember my former turn as a wanna-be Bob Greene/Erma Bombeck daily columnist when I moved to Colorado and started writing essays under the byline of The Denver Basement News.  It’s 14 years later and I’m ready to start writing again, having resigned from my gig as a teen patron librarian, sold or given away 75% of my belongings, moved out of the too big & filled with STUFF house in the suburbs and moved to Boulder.  Enjoy or not.

Today was my “day one” living in Boulder.  Last weekend doesn’t count as boxes were being emptied, cussing was heard as wireless access was being attempted, and strange but necessary things went missing during the move.  One needs ones body lotion!  Found later in a box marked “basement junk” in the underground parking lot.  Today I felt Boulderetti.  Meaning, sans car, I strolled in the sunshine to the market, the hardware store, the bookstore (independent YES!), the library and the gym.  I passed three medical marijuana clinics, four yoga studios, two acupuncture offices, and an Ethiopian restaurant. I had a skinny cap at the Laughing Goat. I browsed the used furniture store.  I almost got run over by speeding cyclist on three different occasions.  In short, I love this life!

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