A guest post from the Brave Ski Dad, Jamie Lummis. This is a rewrite of a post at Colorado Ski Country USA’s Club Colorado blog. It is dedicated to Steven Gichner.
January 2016. Recent events have confirmed something that I have heard and noticed for the last 90 days.
It’s not a new app, nor a new OS.
Frankly it’s the oldest form of connection. It’s individual relationships with other real, live people.
What a concept.
Earlier this month, a long time friend from college was taken away, much too soon, from his wife, his daughters, and his huge circle of friends. A man who would feature on the Mount Rushmore of friends, I first met Steven Gichner at Colorado College.
Later, when we graduated Steve welcomed my wife and I when we moved to his area of the world and made sure we were included in his circle.
He did the same for everyone he met. He drew people in at all stages of his life, inviting them to live with him and his parents, then in his first home with college friends. The hospitality and generosity continued after he was married and even after he and his wife, Sandra, had kids.
Steve cooked the meals, planned the parties, invited the eclectic group and chose the music.
Steve loved to ski and reconnect with friends whenever he returned to Colorado.
These ski days with Steve and our combined families built deeper connections with a good friend and demonstrated to our kids the social aspects of skiing: choosing runs, exploring the mountain and riding the lift together.
Time on the chairlift is one of my favorite parts of the shared athletic experience of skiing. To get on the lift, you have to stop the activity, sit down next to your buddy and connect. The ride is a perfect place to renew your friendships and, especially for our children, to meet new friends and connect with others.
Skiing also creates connections with the outdoors as you gaze upon incredible mountain vistas. Sharing this beauty with your friends and kids is an experience that is hard to forget.
No App Required
My takeaway from a recent celebration of Steven Gichner’s life is that I have a much greater capacity to connect with people than I currently am. So, I am starting now.
I am making a list which is titled Phone/Write Letter. This is a list of the people who are important to me and with whom I’d like to reconnect. This is my new app.
When I’m noodling around the internet looking for Colorado Ski Country snow reports, Liverpool FC articles, needless crap to buy, frustrating news articles, and the like, I am going to stop and check out my list, my old-fashioned “Connection app.” As a long time friend, someone I had not seen face-to-face for over 16 years until yesterday puts it, reconnecting in a human way is “way better than making snide comments on Facebook.”
Bill, you are absolutely right.
Connect with your tribe. Connect with your family. If a name pops into your head, write it down and add it to your list. Call and connect. Set up a time for coffee. Invite a friend to ski and try a new mountain or ski area. The skiing will be fun, the time connecting better.
Work your old-fashioned list by simply reaching out and asking, “how the heck are you doing?”
This will be the best app in your life.
More From the Brave Ski Dad:
- Ski Season Safety Tips from the Brave Ski Dad, January 18, 2016.
- Skiing is Supposed to be FUN! November 23, 2015.
- Successful Skiing with Your Spouse or Partner, March 18, 2015.
- A Brave Ski Dad’s Vow: Every Ski Day is a Great Day, November 10, 2014.
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