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There's only ONE way to ski!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A short story for your entertainment. I'm at home sick today, so I warn you: this story is fueled by various cold medications.

There's is only one way to ski - YOUR way. Without style, we are no one.

Learning to ski, no matter what your ability, is all about reaching outside of yourself and expanding the boundaries of what is possible. Technical knowledge is useful, no doubt, but the real accomplishment cannot be felt in any other way but by doing it.

A couple years ago, I realized a lifelong dream. Even though the dream has come to be reality, it still drives me and lends perspective to my very being.

For as long as I can remember, the "helicopter" manuvere has fascinated me. I would watch skiers pop off the end of the jump and float, spinning slowly, landing smooth and skiing off into the sunset. When I got to thinking I was pretty good at skiing, along would come one of these aerial acrobats to put me in my place. I would never be complete as a skier unles I could pull off the revered heli.

Like any human, I sometimes ponder our place in this world, and wonder about who or what maintains the balance. In the scope of the universe, our atmosphere is but a thin blanket protecting us from the unknown. So delicate is this balance that a shift of mere millimetres would forever change life as we know it. Generally, we choose not to think of the consequence of such things. We accept our being and make our ways along through life, and I daresay, it's not altogether bad. We love, we live and it's all bound together by the threads of a faith which we cannot define nor explain. There is simply a "knowing" that what will come will come and life will go on, with us or without us.

"There's only one true path in life...
the road that leads to all, leads to one
There's only one true path in life,
the road that leads to one... vision,
an inner vision."

-System of a Down "Innervision"

The inexplicability of life is just too much to comprehend without some plain ordinary blind faith. You buy yourself a nice new pair of ski gloves. They look nice and they fit good. They are of the right and current fashionable design. You give little thought to the endless processes that brought life to your new ski gloves. Would you like to have met the cow that gave her skin for the leather in your gloves? Where does the guy who makes the thread that holds them together live? Where do those little plastic things that you use to clip your new gloves together come from? Who thought of that idea in the first place? What does "hydrothermic" really mean? Who created God?

Do we need to answer every question?

I spent months, years, jumping into the air, throwing my arms up and around, tightening my core, looking for the landing, doing heli's in my shoes. I climbed upon ledges to throw myself higher into the air so I could spin more slowly and "stomp" the landings.

I spent months, years, approaching the lip of the jump, saying "this is the day, I'm going to do it." And off the end of the jump I would go, the committment hissing out of me like air from a balloon, failing again and again. For a while I even told myself the dream was dead, and I would never do the helicopter. I began to accept and justify. "You're not getting any younger" "you don't have anything to prove".

* * * *

Faster and faster we pedalled, hopping logs and rocks, swerving, skidding in the loose sandy corners. Charging down the trail to our destination: a sweaty-sexy roll in the grass at the bottom. Life was good. I thought I was in love.

The jump looked perfect. I dropped into the in-run. Found that confident stance, equal parts intent and committment, flowing together into a unified package. Up to the lip... pop! and the body begins to spin, stalling right around 270 degrees of rotation. The earth came up to grab me, my legs all askew and I fell directly onto my ass.

Then I got up, giggling like a madman. There was no fear in crashing. The air had still out of my balloon of committment, but at least it hissed more slowly.

I realized I wasn't in love. I am now, but not then. I'm glad she left. What I blindly believed to be my whole existence was nothing more than a roll in the grass. Nice, mind you, but not everything.

I approached the jump with no fear of crashing. I had visited the unknown and knew it was not be feared. Up into the air, arms aiming my energy in an upward spiral. No gravity beneath my feet. Around my center, I spin, 360 degrees, stomp the landing and ski off into the sunset.
post #2 of 12
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Get well soon, IHTS. But in the mean time, keep the deep thoughts coming. Great stuff!

Best regards,

[ March 16, 2003, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #3 of 12
The tears coming down my face ski over the goosebumps, like a mogul run. Thanks! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 12
Thank you for another great contribution. This one has special significance for me. The heli is my "one thing before I croak" ambition and your story was very inspirational. I think I'll give it another try. I'll report back on how it goes.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie: wow, that was deep.

Bob: thanks. I appreciate and respect your words. I have learned much from your posts.

Nolo: Clearly, you know as much or more about skiing than anyone on here. Further, in my eyes anyway, you know much more about teaching skiing than anyone on here.

To pull off that heli you have to reach beyond your knowledge and into your faith. You know you've taken students there.

Good luck, and thanks all. It's killing me to not be skiing, even thought it rained this morning, I want to be out there.
post #6 of 12
I will remember your words, Master. Reach into your faith, lift, spin, and BELIEVE!
post #7 of 12
You DO have the secret! A beautiful piece of work, in every way. Please send me a pm telling me what medicine you've been on . . . I want some.

I found a piece of it today skiing the same bump run over and over and over with ever increasing frustration, until I remembered my son's words the last time I tried this breakthough: "Dad, you've got to BELIEVE in yourself! Then just do it!" Damn! That kid knows something!
post #8 of 12
Jack Handy never had such a deep thought.
post #9 of 12
Originally posted by nolo:
Thank you for another great contribution. This one has special significance for me. The heli is my "one thing before I croak" ambition and your story was very inspirational. I think I'll give it another try. I'll report back on how it goes.
nolo, i have a progression for you, but we would need to do it together. I will hesitantly say that you would be spinning within a day if we could ski together. I say hesitantly because;

Middle aged adults have one major hurdle to overcome when it comes to freestyle skiing, the fact that they are middle aged.

teenagers can usually spin within minutes.
young adults can usually spin within hours.
middle aged adults may take a couple days.
It's simply about comfort level

If you want to start another thread we can go into it more...
post #10 of 12
Very nice story!
Get well soon!
post #11 of 12
And here I thought I was the the only one who "had to do a 360 before I get too old"!

I am trying to do 180's off any little bump. Kind of a warm up to a 360? "Oh! Nice twin tips, so you can ride switch too", is all the credit I get from my kids.

Fear of broken parts is the big hang up. I see too many crack ups in the terrain parks, and I don't wish to add my bones to the statistics!

I'm waiting for the big snow day!

post #12 of 12
I am also in the 270 club. Your story inspired me to take it up again. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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