Here on the cusp of another ski season, I am happy to share this post from my husband, the Brave Ski Dad. While he has many wonderful attributes, this man can suck the joy from any situation in the pursuit of athletic perfection. Here, he shares the events which finally convinced him, once and for all, that skiing is supposed to be fun.
Skiing is Supposed to Be FUN!
By James Lummis
For me, skiing is a lot of things. It’s time outdoors. It’s fun with family and friends. And it’s adrenaline inducing. But for a long time, these positive aspects of skiing were lost to me, as I spent most of my time on snow trying to improve my skills.
In my mind, the perfect run was not fresh snow, or untracked corduroy, but a run with perfect turns, my body and hands aligned downhill, and my speed controlled with ease. Too bad for me, the pursuit of perfection is an unworthy goal and one that often ends with unrealized results.
As you can imagine if I spend my ski days pursuing perfection with admittedly limited results, I may not be the best company.
In fact, for years my wife annoyed me by asking, too many times to count, this terrible question: “Are you having fun?”
Usually, I was incredulous. “Of course I’m having fun,” I’d think to myself. “I am skiing, outdoors, and ripping it up.”
However my face was telling another story. I never understood her question until Corey Kopischke, a friend of ours who is a professional photographer, took some unbelievable action shots of our family. The resulting photos showed me why my wife continues to wonder.
Check out this face.
This is the face of a person worrying about perfection and not enjoying the ride. This was a revelation. My pursuit of perfect skiing was getting me this? A sourpuss face with the fun being sucked right out of my mouth?
A few weeks later, I learned this lesson again.
I was skiing with my sons, chasing them down a great line in Hanging Valley at Snowmass. I came in a bit too hot and ended up hitting the deck in a cloud of snow. Showing my adult maturity (not), I beat the snow with my fists and unleashed words no one deserves to hear.
My son looked at me and said “Dad, this is supposed to be fun.”
My son was right. Skiing is supposed to be fun. But, I was too focused on my form. I’m the only one who cares how I ski and obviously I cared a little too much.
Since my son pointed this out, I have had a lot more fun on the snow.
Thanks to my son (and a picture worth a thousand words), last season was super fun, despite the warm temps and low snow.
I can’t wait to get out again!
Portions of this post originally published at Club Colorado, the Colorado Ski Country USA blog.
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