If you ski or snowboard then you know that moment when your body is in rhythm with the earth and you dance with nature in perfect beat with powder snow as your dance floor. That, dear friends is living.
But, like life, it takes a lot of work, and gear, to get to that perfect point. The first time meditator doesn’t reach nirvana with the first breath, the author didn’t publish his first draft (or even his second) and the billionaire didn’t get rich from her first sale. Perfect moments always have a back story.
You can’t orchestrate that state, you can only prepare, and attaining that moment comes with risk. At some stage you’re going to feel physically, mentally and emotionally vulnerable. That’s where the growth happens. If you’re not willing to risk then you’ll stay on those green runs forever.
How you approach skiing (or snowboarding) is how you approach life. Does fear grab you in the cajones, hold you in it’s grip and swing you above it’s head, trapping you in a centrifuge of doubt or do you jump first, think later?
Do you curse the beginner in the lift line who ran over your skis as they face planted into the barrier? Do you ski alone or in a pack? Do you care about being first or care about the perfect turn? Do you boast about your powder travels or keep the secret stash to yourself?
Whatever you do, consciously or sub consciously, something brings you back to the snow, time and time and time again. Something stirs you to wrestle with ski boots and not always win, to brave blizzards in sub zero conditions, to collapse in a heap of stiff limbs and bruised shoulders, to dance on the bar long after you thought your dancing days were over.
There is a common thread and bond between those that ski and snowboard. We think we are escaping ‘our real life’ but we’re not. We’re living a real life that we forget to take back home with us.
That life we seek is not in a filtered Instagram post in a styled setting, it’s in the exhale into an exhausted heap after five turns in the blower powder white room, it’s in the stack that you recover from, laughing because you dared to send it.
You can ski, but you can’t hide. The mountain is just a microcosm of what’s in front of you, should you choose to accept it. Pure joy because you didn’t care what others thought of your daring, grief from injury and even death, frustration when learning, sadness at saying goodbye for another season.
When we asked members of one of our Facebook groups why they ski or snowboard, they said: freedom, leaving your worries behind, nothing else matters, escaping, focus entirely on what you’re doing and be in the moment, in the zone, just you and your skis and the mountain, a crystal clear mind focus on the next turn, being with my kids present in the moment, no outside noise, getting to play as an adult, meditation, sharing the passion with my husband and kids, embracing fear, stepping out of the comfort zone, a community feel, sharing, encouraging.
That dear friends, is living your best life filled with challenge, connection and solace. ‘Life’ for skiers and boarders is spent on the mountains, it’s why we call it home even when we reside a thousand kilometres away.
If I could bottle it and give it to you as a daily tonic to imbibe each morning, I would. But you already have it, the mountains have shown you the truth but you don’t need a snow laden peak to access it. The memory in your cells will get you there.
Now. Just add an S.