Wow, awesome thread, thanks everyone that wrote something, I feel more comfortable with who I am again, lol. I put skiing on the shelf for so long, I guess I simply just forgot about it.
I grew up ski racing in MN, went to college in ME for the reason to find a job in the ski industry, and then moved to CO for 5 years. At 27, I left CO primarily due to the reason that I needed to find a job that pays more, find a girl to marry, and I had 3 surgeries at that point - all ski related (two right knees and one shoulder).
I competed on the IFSA tour for my last two years (I wonder if its still even around) generally finishing in the middle to back of the pack. I know that I had reached a level that few other people have achieved, I routinely pushed myself outside my comfort zone and had a true love of steep fall line skiing, and really liked to jump off cliffs for whatever reason.
I left thinking that I would become the weekend warrior, get about 20 days a year, and to me - that would suffice...unfortunately, that didn't happen.
When I left CO, I now know, I walked away from one of the only things I really loved - and it did leave a void.
I got married, had two kids, and life took over. I didn't think about it, other than a ski trip or there over the course of the next 13 years. I've skied a total of 14 days over those 13 years. I rarely thought about it, it was in the past.
5 of those 14 days came a week ago when I returned to CO with my two kids.
Two years ago I got divorced and moved back to MN. Being that I needed to drop 30 lbs and make myself more physically appealing for females - I began working out. I began competing again...this time at triathlons. I am now on the verge of turning 40 and truly am in the best shape of my life.
Something happened in CO that I can't shake or get off my mind last week. I saw several old friends I haven't seen or heard from in years and was surprised to find a lot of them were still hard at it, albeit not at the 100+ days we all had once done. One of my friends put me on a new pair of whatever these canoe skis are, I turned the bindings up to 11, and began aggressively charging lines like I was 25. I skied better last week than I ever have in my life, partly due to the new skis and also because of my physical shape.
My friend who hooked me up with these new bad ass skis asked me this exact question, which when I saw this thread made me read it over and over again. He asked me how I was able to walk away from it all. And my answer was, "I don't know."
It's nuts - I'm obsessed trying to figure out how to get myself back on snow now.
So I have done what any "clear thinking" soon to be 40 year old would do in my situation, I updated my resume, began researching ski industry jobs, I made reservations for 2 more trips this winter (Jackson and Salt Lake), and I'm about to commit to a week in Portillo in August. Money I had been saving for a 14 day trip to Europe was just redirected - to new ski equipment, and the Europe trip has been cancelled. My ex (who I get along great with) has always been open to moving to Denver, she even brought it up recently last week after I got back. but I haven't alluded to her what I am thinking about.So far the only people that know my predicament are you all reading this thread, I'm forced to keep this under wraps currently - cuz I know friends and family are all going to call it a 'mid-life crisis'.
How do you walk away from something that you are truly an expert at? You forget about it, you push the memories about it out of your head, you focus on new competitive hobbies. But what do you do when the memories get triggered and pour back in? I guess I am about to answer that one..
So many different factors kept me away, logistics, family responsibilities, money, and time were probably the biggest. Skiing takes a huge commitment. But I think it's just like anything in life - If you want it bad enough you can make it happen.
All I can think about now is shoving my ski into a 45-50 degree fall line. Somehow, someway - I am going to make that happen again...because 5 days a year just ain't gonna cut it for this guy :)