By James Lummis
Skiing for me is a number of things. Skiing is time outdoors. It’s adrenaline inducing. It’s fun with family and friends. And, especially for me, skiing is a time to improve my skills.
I have been in constant pursuit of the perfect run, which for me is not fresh snow, or untracked corduroy, but a run with perfect turns, my body and hands downhill, and my speed controlled with ease. Unfortunately the pursuit of perfection is usually an unworthy goal and underachieved pursuit that often ends with unrealized results.
Well you can imagine if I spend my ski days pursuing perfection with admittedly limited results, I may not be the best company.
In fact my wife has asked me, too many times to count, if I am having fun. I often can’t believe I am being asked this, as I am skiing, outdoors, and ripping it up. However I am telling another story with my face. For years I never understood the question until a friend of ours who is a professional photographer took some unbelievable action shots of our family. The results showed me why my wife continues to ask.
Check out this face.
This is the face of a person spending way too much time worrying about perfection in skiing and not enjoying the ride. This was a revelation. Was this what my pursuit of perfect skiing was getting me? A sourpuss face with the fun being sucked right out of my mouth?
Even before I saw this picture my son had taught me a lesson.
As usual I was following him down a great line in Hanging Valley at Snowmass and he was waiting for me. As I came down I got a little too much speed and ended up finishing the line and hitting the deck at his feet in a cloud of snow. On the ground, I began beating the snow and unleashing words no one deserves to hear. My son looked at me and said “Dad, this is supposed to be fun.”
Whoa doggy – this is supposed to be fun?
What was I thinking? Fun?
My son was right, I was more focused on form and not fun. No one cares how I ski other than me and obviously I cared a little too much. So after my son pointed out the obvious, I have had way more fun out on the snow. Low snow? No sun? No problem. Strapping on the boards. Riding the lifts. Seeing ridiculous views. How can this not be fun?
Thanks to my son (and a picture worth a thousand words), this season has been, and continues to be, super fun. I can’t wait to get out again!