... We are the one percenters. We are the ones who ski in bad (we think it's good) weather. Out for first runs and last one off the hill...
...Every once in awhile you'll get that guy or girl in a class that just lights up the first time they slide on them boards and you know that you have found a kindred spirit. It is rare but it does happen...
...I take great pleasure in thinking that this guy sitting next to me on the chair is going to be in some concrete and steel building tomorrow surronded by computers and what not ...
I would put myself in the one percent club. I average 40+ days per season for the last 20 years. For the last 3 years I've been averaging 60+ days. However, being part of the "over the hill gang", I'm out first thing in the morning but usually hang it up after 4-5 hours of solid, continuous skiing.
I'm also a "rare" kindred spirit. What you said, describes my first day on skis to a "T", even though I almost ran into a tree and didn't take a formal lesson but was "taught" by an office mate for 5 minutes and abandoned. I still look with envy on newbees who have just discovered the "joys of skiing" and are embarking on their own grand adventure. I recall the "amazement and joy" which I experienced.
Finally, I ski more than my coach whom I've been taking lessons regularly (4-5 times/season) for the last 6-7 years, even though you will find me sitting in a concrete/steel building surrounded by "computers" and what nots. I usually ski at least 4 times per week. 2 half days and 2 full days.
Finally, my coach once told me, he was amazed how much money a family of four would have to spend for a day of skiing. It was easy to drop AT LEAST $400.00 for this family of four to enjoy a day on the slopes (and we are only a "feeder" area). Granted that not all of this $400.00 goes into Ski Lessons, but think about it, how many families of four can afford to ski 20 days at a cost of $400.00 per day? Even 10 days would be $4000.00. This family, with some judicious web searching, could go on two 7 days cruises, which would cover lodging, meals as well as most ship board recreational/activities costs. With so many "activities" competing for this family's "entertainment" dollars, is it a surprise that the projected growth of skiing is 0, irrespective of how much ski lessons costs?
PS: one year several of the senior coaches at our ski school (actually trainers) were placing odds on that I made the most vertical of all skiers at my home mountain. Note not most days but most vertical. Not willing to win anything on false pretenses, I pointed out another skier (a woman who I ski a lot with because we are always on the mountain) actually skis more vertical than I do, since she averages at least 5 days/week and she skis as much vertical as I do when we are skiing together.