Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ski Bum Life: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Twig Season

Snow.
It was here not too long ago.
Like last week.
And now it's gone.
Just like that.

Talk about messing with a ski bum's brain waves and mental stability. I was all set to get my season started, getting stoked about adding more trails to the one proud Rime. But now, we are reduced to walking through fallen leaves as they completely cover the bike trails and litter the ski ones.

I was all set to ski...
and now I really just don't know what to do with myself.

It's nobody's fault.
There really isn't anything you can do about the weather turning from a frosty wonderfulness back to the warm days of Autumn. It'll be fantstic weather for the Halloween Parade tonight in Rutland.
I am fighting it, this warm weather.
Each day I start off with a silent protest, picking a wool hat from the hat drawer but it has to come off by around 10am because I am sweating to death.

Of course, it hasn't helped my mood any that my body crashed as the snow melted. I spent the entire last weekend under the covers, sweating like a bitch in hopes of breaking my fever. It was as if my body had given me absolutely everything it had to get through a week of October skiing - and then left me with nothing.
But I thank my body soooo much for holding off on letting whatever crap this is take over until the skiing was done.
My physical body knows my priorities :)
Sweet

But sickness means that I have barely made it higher than lower Superstar on what have become more strolls than anything else this past week. I felt trapped, not able to look down on the valley and remember that I live in the mountains. I couldn't make it above tree line and so I had to force myself to look differently at the mountain. To focus on the small stuff, the little flowers, the one year old golden retriever that I have been trying to train.
I know these things are beautiful - sometimes I just have to be reminded.

And when you are forced to look at things in a new light, you notice new things. I found a few new sections that I am interested in exploring a little more when the snow fills them in. Perhaps I would not have noticed them if I had remained focused on walking higher or faster than the day before. The slow pace let the dogs run wild and we explored instead of committed. There are still so many places that I have yet to discover on this mountain, it amazes me :)

It's the curse of the seasonal lifestyle.
The moods of a ski bum depend entirely upon the weather,
the temperature, the precipitation, the wind speed.
I think this is what makes twig season the most difficult,
the most trying emotionally.

The excitement of the upcoming season contrasts starkly with
the passivity of waiting for the damn thing to start.
The leaves fall from their trees and we think, this is it!
The snow will be coming soon.

And it might.
Just enough to torture us,
to bring our hopes sky high and get us all over excited.

And then again, it might not,

And so we must find other things to do.
A lot of the time,
that thing is drinking.
(we are BUMS, after all)
or hiking.

or even sometimes,
working on getting our lives together & prepped for ski season.

Deep dark thoughts start creeping into your mind.
Maybe you start wondering what your life would be like if you had never become a ski bum, if you had taken that corporate job for the money.
You look through your closest and realize you could buy, I don't know, like real clothes or something instead of just ski pants and crampons.
You rearrange the furniture and think, wouldn't it be nice to replace this old rickety couch for some new furniture that doesn't smell like ski wax and stale beer.
You dream about all the things you could have done, if you had stayed on the straight and narrow path laid down by your forfathers.

But then you look across the room and see Vespi cuddled into her corner of the couch and think of how happy she is on our mountain adventures every day.
The joy of watching a sunrise or a sunset.
The smell of the fresh mountain air that greets you everytime you venture outside.
The feeling of your skis underneath you as you schuss down the mountain.

And you realize,
you made the right choice after all.

Being a ski bum isn't just about the days of skiing and riding in sick deep pow.
It's a lifestyle.

You shake your head,
hoping to chase away all the delusions of grandeur that were challenging
your simple and peaceful life in the mountains.

Don't do something stupid.
Just be patient and wait for the snow!!

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