That’s a Wrap
And so the 2010-2011 snowboard season has come to an end for me. I’ll admit to being a bit melancholy. But it’s time for spring and time to figure out what my new summer sport should be. It was a fabulous winter. I worked with great people, met a lot of fun people, rode more than I’ve ever ridden before, and made a little money doing it. I’d do it all over again. In fact, maybe I will.
Never Too Old
Meet Marianne. She just turned 70 and she rocks. She can teach you to snowboard, alpine ski, telemark ski, or cross-country ski. One of my favorite things about Marianne is that she didn’t learn to snowboard until about ten years ago. So to all of my friends who say “oh I’m too old to learn to do that” when I talk about snowboarding, I call bullshit.
I rode a lot with Marianne this season but she’s not the only 70+ skier or snowboarder I was out on the mountain with — not by a long shot. There are a bunch of people in their 70s and 80s still out there tearing it up. (And perhaps you saw the CBS Sunday Morning story recently on the 100 year old skier in Michigan.) Marianne in particular is an inspiration to me because, frankly, at 70 she’s in better shape than I am at — well I’m not going to tell you exactly how old but it’s a lot younger than 70. Last month, she competed in the annual triathlon at our home mountain (ski, bike, run) for the 15th year in a row. I’ve never done it. Maybe I’ll start competing in it when I’m 55. What I definitely intend to do is keep snowboarding into my 70s and 80s.
The lesson for me this winter has been: never stop moving and never stop doing what you love.
Ride on. For as long as you can.
Photo of the Day: Not bad for April. Still plenty of snow in the Catskills. The winter weather gods have really smiled on us this year. It was the second to last day of the season for me. Tomorrow will be it and then I put the gear away until December, November if I’m lucky.
Photo of the day: Action shot. I rode with my friend Marianne today and we tried to get some decent photos of each other in action. Not all that easy when you are using a phone for a camera. This is the best one of me. I’m not all that pleased with how I look… a wee bit blobbish on top if you ask me… but I think my form looks pretty decent so I’ll focus on the positive. :)
Still enjoying the ride.
Photo of the day: It will soon be over. We’re getting to the end of the season so I’m trying to soak up as many “beauty moments” as possible. Ahhh.
I know other people are sick of the snow, but, well, of course, I’m not. It’s snowed every day of spring so far at the mountain and that’s a good thing. Powder days at the end of March, in the Catskills? I’ll take them!
I will admit that if it could just snow at the ski mountain I’d be okay with that. I’m a little tired of seeing it in the yard and the driveway and on the deck. I’d like to see some grass, sit out on the deck and not have to put my car in four-wheel drive to get to the house. But April will be here soon enough. Then again I do remember it snowing in early May many years ago here.
Seeking Solace on the Mountain
“Seeking solace on the mountain.” That was my facebook status at least a couple of times last winter. My dad was fighting what would ultimately be a losing battle with cancer. He was in and out of the hospital from the beginning of January until he died a year ago last night. The mountain was the only place I could go to find some peace last winter. I rode alone a lot — just me and my thoughts. It gave me time to process what was going on, to begin to grieve, because even before the doctors confirmed it, we all knew it was the beginning of the end for him. I would sit at the top of a slope alone, look down to the valley below and just let the memories and the emotions flood over me. A long time ago, a friend of my Grandfather’s said of him at his funeral, “He found god in nature, and the woods were his cathedral.” I guess I got that from him. I’m not one for church. Never have been. But out on that mountain surrounded by the natural beauty there I found what I needed to help get me through.
This winter I’ve been riding a lot more and a lot more with other people. Today I rode with my friend Tony, who’s not much younger than my Dad was when he died. It was an amazing day for the end of March… fresh powder in the Catskills on the first day of Spring! After Tony left for the day, I took a couple of more runs by myself — just me and my thoughts. I stopped at the top of the slope and looked down on the valley below and remembered my father — the man who taught me what’s really important in life: family, friends, love and laughter. I rode those last two runs today for him because I knew he’d be happy knowing I was happy and doing something I love.
Love you Dad. Still miss you every single day.
Photos of the Week: I was a bit remiss in posting last week. It started out on Monday with fresh snow sticking like little filaments to the trees at the top of the mountain but then the sun came out and we were full-on into spring conditions. I think it’s a beautiful place to be no matter what the weather.
Photo of the Day: Still plenty of snow. Season’s not over yet!
Photo of the Day: It’s a wee bit of a hike to get to this trail, but totally worth it on a day like today.