Powder Skiing Mauro Paillex - Flying Down The Mountain Like Peter PanWhen I was young, I was one of the few kids that didn’t want to grow up.  I was in no hurry to drive a car or get a job, I never said “I can’t wait until I turn…then I will be able to…”  I could see what adults had to go through to survive in our society and literally tried with all my might to not grow up.  To this day, if my kids say, “when I grow up”, I correct them and say, “you mean when you become an adult?”.  On the surface, these two statements appear to mean the same thing, but to me, they are two very different realities.  I made a pact to myself, just like Peter Pan did, to never grow up and always be a child in my heart.  My childhood was enjoyable, not having any cares in the world and my only job was to have fun.   To never grow up and be able to fly and be free, now that would be amazing adventure.  Sadly for most people, that reality could never happen because it’s just a fairy tale, right?  Well, I’m about to let you in on a little secret that all die hard skiers know…The fairy tale is true!

There is a profound quote from one of my favorite movies “Hook” (Peter Pan), when Robin Williams answers his cell phone and asks his co-worker “Ever wonder what it’s like to feel the total exhilaration of flying?” then tosses his phone out the window.   For Peter Pan to fly, he must keep his happy thought in his mind and he needs a little bit of fairy dust.  He is a kid at heart who just wants to play and have fun.  As skiers, we too love to fly…to fly down the slope at crazy speeds on slippery snow, knowing that one slightly off balance turn or edge catch could send us flailing to the ground in dramatic style.   When you get into the groove, skiing literally feels like flying.

As skiers, we crave the adrenaline rush and the wind blowing our faces.  We crave being free and not tied to the ball and chain of society’s norms.  We crave being so utterly consumed by skiing that we forget all of our problems and are just living exactly in that moment.  We crave being on the side of an ancient dormant volcano and realizing that we are just a speck of dust in the winds of time, which makes all of our own problems seem minuscule.  We crave standing in a snow storm watching the gorgeous snowflakes blanket the ground.  We love heading up to the mountain weekend after weekend for the sole purpose of having fun.  The excitement we get in our gut when driving to the mountain knowing that there is fresh powder waiting for us, literally makes us giddy.

So when Peter Pan tossed his cell phone out the window and asked a seemingly childish question about flying, he was ignoring society’s norms and listening to the child inside himself tell him to just have fun and live for the moment.  As a skier, getting off the lift, turning tunes on in my helmet and setting out on an outrageous powdery mogul run, riding the back of the wind, on a sunny bluebird morning is my happy place.   Snow is my fairy dust and skiing is my happy thought.  With those two ingredients, I am truly flying high and fast, forgetting about my problems and having fun, just like Peter Pan.

Skiers know the secret…the fairy tales about Peter Pan are true and now you know too.  So what are you waiting for, turn off your computer, tell your boss you need a sick day and head on up to the mountain for a day of flying (skiing).  In the words of Peter Pan, To Ski Is An Awfully Big Adventure.

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