Posts of snow!! now appearing in my Denver friends’ Facebook feeds bring back fond memories of the Colorado ski seasons I experienced while living there. Coloradoans are now beginning their preparations: skis are getting waxed, bindings are getting tightened, boots are getting refit. And the energy and excitement of the impending season is tangible throughout the state.
Skiing is a choose-your-own-adventure type of sport. You choose the mountain, you choose the run—it’s up to you whether to be comfortable and content or to push yourself to the limits. On your confident days, you trek a little higher, turn a little faster, and face elements you might typically avoid. Other times, you’re fine facing the familiar, letting your gear and gravity do the work as you glide weightlessly over the fresh snow. Either way, unexpected bumps inevitably come along, and you fall. But just as quickly as you go down, you get back up. And you keep on going.
Sometimes, you ski in a group, following in one another’s tracks, turn for turn, twist for twist, enjoying the company and friendly competition of who can get to the finish first. Other times, you fly solo, venturing into unmarked tree territory, the swish/swoosh of your skis the only sign of life around. Both have their benefits; both have their challenges—it’s up to you to choose where and with whom you’ll keep on going.
A long day of skiing doesn’t come without taking some necessary breaks. Legs burning, heart racing, nose running—your body begs you to stop and rest for a while. You oblige, regrouping your thoughts, focus, breath. And then you push off once again, and keep on going.
No matter what you choose on any given ski day, one decision is always set: there’s only one way down. And to get there, no matter what, you have to just keep on going.
I may not be surrounded by mountains anymore, but it seems I can still put my skiing skills to use in my everyday runs of life.
I, for one, cannot wait for the first Cincinnati snowfall.