Monthly Archives: September 2011

Why Self-Promotion is a Bitch

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Oh wait. Let me just reapply my lipgloss.

“How was your summer?” A good friend recently asked me.

“You know. Strange.”

“No, I don’t know. What do you mean?”

“Well, the weather for one thing. And between the ski area being open and my book coming out, we’ve been working pretty hard.”

“Oh yeah, your book! How’s that going anyway?”

That’s when the little voice inside my head says Kim, just stop it. You don’t have to promote your book to your friends. They’re going to buy it anyways. But it’s like an addiction. Or like washing your hands for the fifteenth time while mumbling the words to Gloria Gaynor’s classic “I Will Survive.”

After a while you start to get a little weird.

Maybe in this era of Facebook updates and frequent retweets, promoting yourself isn’t as shameful as it once was. Everyone’s doing it. We all have learned to don the party wig, apply another coat of lipgloss and smile for the camera, being sure to capture our best side. Who knows? This could be our new profile photo. Or worse, someone could tag us in an unflattering light before we have a chance to swipe our names off the offending photo. It’s always good to think ahead.

But this kind of thing doesn’t come naturally to me. I have to work at it. Often, I’m just faking it. So instead of doing all the wonderful summer-vacation sort of activities I’ve honed myself on the past few years, I’ve been busy sharpening other skills. Here’s a list of my accomplishments (see! I’m getting better at this self-promotion thing):

  • Even though I didn’t climb any volcanoes this season or even sleep outside nearly enough, I did learn to surf, thanks to my friend Hillary.
  • Launched a major book promotion campaign. This isn’t easy, even with a great publicist at my side. Who knew that this blog (and all your comments and participation) would be a driving factor in the campaign? Thanks for all that, by the way.
  • Managed to drop the phrase, “My book is coming out in October” into 90% of all my conversations. Not sure if that’s a good thing, or a sign of a serious underlying obsession. (Did I mention that my book is now available on Kindle? Oops. Did it again.)
  • Dropped below 500K on my Alexa ranking. As if that actually means anything.
  • Decided that someday my husband and I will live in the Alps, either Chamonix (sorry skiclimber; it’s a big enough town we probably won’t run into each other) or Verbier (thanks to Corrine and Eric).
  • Almost 100  10 5 people so far told me after reading an advanced copy of my book that they liked it. One reader said my blog changed her life; so just imagine what reading the book will do. (No, this reader is NOT my mom, although those of you following along know that Mom’s reaction was equally full of praise. It’s good to have a fan. Even if she’s your mom.)
  • Actually, the # 1 comment I’ve gotten from readers so far: “I had no idea your job was so dangerous.”
  • Oops. We ski patrollers aren’t supposed to talk about that.
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Finding Grit: Toughness as a Virtue

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No one really likes the word “failure”. Especially not Americans.

I’ve heard it called a “tolerance for adversity” and “character building”. When a person’s

Can ski town life teach you to find your grit?

world turns on it’s ear, she often hears “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” When John got sick, my mom told me, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”

So apparently, there’s a consensus, or at least an underlying recognition, that hardship is good for you. It’s a part of life, so we might as well embrace it.

For a while there, I thought if I moved to a ski area, filling my days with adventure and excitement and a little bit of forced hardship, then I’d fill my quota. I thought if I kept adventuring real adversity wouldn’t find me. But it doesn’t work that way. At least not for very long. Read the rest of this entry

Weekly High-Five Report: Bubble Wrap

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Happiness is a roll of bubble wrap

Last week, my stepdaughter had a birthday. I believe in an abundance of wrapped goodies. If the gift is a remote control car, wrap the batteries, too. If it’s a new pair of skis, wrap the bindings separately. That way the fun of opening gifts lasts longer.

This year I even wrapped the bubble wrap.

And you know what? I think the $6 roll of large-size bubble wrap was the biggest hit of the night. I knew she was easy to please, but this was a whole new level.

High-five!

 

I’m proud of her for finding the joy in the small things. Through the years we’ve spent many hours stomping on bubble wrap, giggling together as we marched and popped, stepped and snapped.

This week’s high-five goes out to Evelyn. She’s ten years old and she already understands that life’s best moments are often the small ones. Keep being awesome Ev.

How to Be There When it Dumps

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Powder Day!

You’ve all been there. It’s still 30 minutes before first chair and the line is already snaking back to the ticket kiosks. Thin snowflakes drift lazily from the sky. The big dump happened yesterday, while you sat at your office desk obsessively checking and re-checking the resort’s website, watching the snow pile up. The day started with 3 inches of new–not enough to call in sick. By the time you checked from your desk, another 2 inches had fallen. You briefly wondered if it was too late to make it up there. Unfortunately, you just rode the elevator with your boss and never mentioned the growing nausea a quick dash from the office would require. Read the rest of this entry

What Haters Can Teach Us

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One day late last winter, while leaving the Summit House to head out onto the hill, I noticed a pair of skis stuck in the snow next to mine. They were covered in stickers, but the one that stuck out the most read “I Haters”.

Why would anyone love haters? I wondered as I skied away. Perhaps it was a joke. Or maybe the owner of the skis was a hater himself (or herself, whichever the case may be). According to Urban Dictionary, a hater is, Read the rest of this entry

Book Review: Adventure in Everything

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Life is meant to be an adventure, and author and climbing guide Matt Walker knows how to find it everywhere.

In his new book he offers a formula for taking the kind of adventure usually found in the mountains and bringing it to our everyday lives.

Matt breaks it down into five elements, showing us how to truly find adventure in everything we do. I recently caught up with Matt and asked him a few questions about his book, Adventure in Everything: How the Five Elements of Adventure Create a Life of Authenticity, Purpose, and Inspiration.

Q: THE BOOK IS CALLED ADVENTURE IN EVERYTHING. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Matt:  Adventure in Everything is both a framework and a lifestyle choice. It is a framework that supports living with intention and purpose in the moment, daily, and in a larger sense of making sure that our actions, how we spend our time, and who we spend it with, align deeply and significantly with our values. Read the rest of this entry

The Art of Flight: Best Snowboarding Movie Ever

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Saturday night John and I attended the West Coast Premiere of The Art of Flight, presented by Red Bull Media House. Filmed with a Cineflex camera system, the cinematography in this film is pretty amazing.

The film follows Travis Rice and a group of hand-picked athletes in search of endless lines, great light and epic terrain. While they find all these, most importantly they have fun doing it. These guys are stoked. Read the rest of this entry