I’ve been skiing for over 40 years and every year I get more and more enthusiastic about skiing.  To a non-skier, when I talk about skiing, I get a range of looks anywhere from a look of awe and jealousy to looks of compete ambivalence.  The greatest gift my father gave me as a young child was the opportunity to ski.  He is a PSIA Certified Ski Instructor, so I basically had free lessons during my entire childhood.  He helped inspire within me a lifelong desire to continually improve myself and to always pursue my passions.  Skiers know what I’m talking about when I say that skiing isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.  Skiing is part of my soul!  When I am at the mountain and making turns down a freshly groomed ski run on a bluebird day, I am at complete and utter peace.  I forget about all my problems, my stress melts away, I am happy and I am close to God.  My life up to this point was the beginning of my skiing blog, I just didn’t realize it until someone slapped me in the face with it.

Getting older, we all start to feel the extra aches and pains in our muscles a little more than we used to.  We don’t recover as quickly and falls or potential injuries can be more severe.  Life stresses also seem to increase as we get older, whether it be job stress, parenting issues, family or financial, the list goes on and on.  Around the age of 45 (at least for me that’s when it started), you start to really think about life, where you’ve been and where you are going.  Facing our mortality starts to become something we think about more often.  So for me, skiing is a way to help stave off the aches and pains and the stresses of life. Skiing reminds me that I am still alive and that most of my problems in life are manageable as long as I can keep my mind clear.  Skiing is a great motivator for staying in shape and is an excellent form of exercise.  Skiing is extraordinarily fun…the feeling of flying down the slope making turn after turn or listening to the silence as I am skiing through the trees or through deep powder, skiing gives me an adrenaline rush like you wouldn’t believe.   Skiing calms my mind and gives me a sense of peace.  It keeps me close to nature and increases my appreciation for the outdoors.  Skiing is very spiritual and reminds me that God is always by my side.

Recently though, I began to think that my obsession and desire to ski was becoming unhealthy.  I was using it more and more as an escape and to get relief from my life stress.   If you had read my last sentence in a different context, it could sound like I was talking about drugs or alcohol.  I have never taken any kind of drugs and only drink socially, but just like most of us, I still search out a way to escape from reality sometimes and to just relax.  About six months ago I went to see a counselor and was explaining my worry about my fear that skiing was becoming like a drug to me because was finding that I need to ski more and more every year to maintain my sense of calm about life.  Her answer was very matter of fact, that there are a lot of worse things to be addicted to.  If skiing helped me deal with life, then the more the merrier.  I told her that I was dreading the end of ski season and the long break before the next season begins.  Her next question was if I enjoyed writing.  At first I thought this was strange question, but she went on further to tell me that many people start journaling because it helps remind them of their passions and the feelings and memories that we have of that thing or activity that makes us so happy.  Hence, the start of my skiing blog.  I got so excited just thinking about writing and sharing my joy of skiing with the world.  I set up my blog, started writing and voila, my blog and writing career was born.

There are very few things in life (at least that I have found) that can give you such a consistent and complete sense of peace about the world.  Skiing is one of them.  For many years, I just skied.  I’d talk with people on the lift, I’d talk with my family and the few friends of mine that skied, but I never really “talked” with other skiers.  When I’m away from the mountain, I rarely run into a fellow skier.  Growing up in the 80’s I didn’t have the internet or Facebook or social media, so my skiing friends were just the people around me.  So not only did my blog give me a sense of escape and remind me of skiing, it also opened my eyes to the realization that there are a ton of people who share my complete and utter passion for skiing.  In my attempts to do research for my blog posts, I found a whole world of skiers that share my love of skiing and the outdoors.

I want to say thank you in advance for reading my blog as I am completely honored.  My hope is that this blog helps people realize that there is a huge world of skiing out there and helps them to know that we die hard skiers and boarders have allies and friends who obsess about everything skiing just as much or more than you do.

Most importantly, I want my writing to inspire you to ski more, stress less and just enjoy life.

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