Someone asked me recently if I ever got sick of skiing.
Of course not, I answered.
But maybe I wasn’t being entirely truthful. Some days it’s icy; other days it rains. Some mornings, like yesterday, a fog descends on the mountain and never leaves. It’s all too easy on those days to quit early or not go out at all. When I’m working, these are the days I look for stray coils of rope that need to be respooled under the auk house bench or caution signs that need to be repaired in the back room. These are the days that my long underwear stays damp all day long and I can never quite shake the chill.
Then I go out and take a run. I seek out the soft snow on the edge that’s been shaved off by others and find it has a nice carvy feel under my skis. I traverse across a wind-scoured ridge to find a few turns of chalky leftovers on north facing slopes. I forget about my still-wet under layers. The chill in my bones evaporates. Maybe the sun pokes through the clouds for a moment as Mt. Rainier blocks the rain for just 15 minutes, giving me a little respite. Suddenly I don’t want to go back inside. I want to take another and another run. It’s better than I thought.
This is true in life, too. Sometimes I can’t face the dark days. I’m unmotivated to handle the murky, foggy tasks of life–the relationship issues, the pile of bills, the basket of laundry, the people that need one thing or another from me. Yesterday I woke up with a low blood sugar. And for a few glorious moments I forgot who I was. In my addled brain I was someone else for a moment–a women free of health concerns, free of fear for her husband, free of the constraints of an aging body.
John noticed me sweating and handed me a glucose tablet. I ate it reluctantly. Didn’t he know how freeing a low blood sugar could be? It isn’t scary anymore. It’s hallucinogenic. For a few moments anyway.
Just like with skiing on a rainy day, life is often better than we thought it would be. We must, however, be in the right frame of mind. Anything can suck if we tell ourselves it does. Our thoughts make the reality. Skiing has taught me this. More truthfully, skiers have taught me this. At Crystal we have some dedicated locals. Grego Lasek has skied every day this season, rain, snow, slush or sun. He hasn’t missed a single day. And every time I see him, he’s enthusiastic. He’s trying new runs and enjoying himself. So if I ever get sick of skiing, I just think of Grego.