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Friday, April 30, 2010

Engaged: Rock Climbing and Marriage

When I was in Thailand, I decided to give rock climbing a go. There was an instructor, an assistant, a cute capable boy, and his overweight sister who kept quoting the TV show Biggest Loser and saying, "We're gonna die. We are so going to die." Without much instruction we were harnessed in and sent up a wall. Two things made the experience horrible. 1) The girl repeating the word die as I tried to shimmy up. 2) The assistant was in charge of my rope and spent more time looking at his hot instructor fiance than me. I lost my grip and fell about 10 feet before he caught me. Ever since then when people bring up rock climbing I've said, why would I want to desperately cling to a wall of rock?

I thought I knew myself, but boredom will make me do crazy things, so when my friend Shane invited me to the rock gym, Enclosure, here in Jackson, I said sure. Had I tried it before? Ummm.... Just once in Thailand. Never a rock gym. I didn't want to share too much of my true hatred for the activity because I was bored and lonely and desperate for action. Previous experience has taught that people aren't going to want to hang out with me if I'm whiny and full of hate, so I tucked the fear and dislike away for the present.

Turns out, rock climbing isn't so bad when the path is marked out for you on a rubber wall and you are surrounded by padding. I recommend trying out rock climbing in this fashion. Leave Thailand for the people who know what they are doing. My favorite part of the experience was Shane explaining to me why he loves climbing.

You go from standing on the floor, full of life's nerousis and distractions to be being fully engaged in one step. By just getting your hands and feet on the wall, you have put yourself in a position where your entire body is active and your mind needs to be focused on keeping you there. Clinging to a wall does have a way of snapping you into the present. I will give the activity that. While climbing, even fully surrounded by padding still scares the poo out of me, and the experience caused my body to tremble, I can say that I felt fully engaged. I wasn't bored or worried about the future for a second while I was on the wall.

Can't pass up this opportunity to give a shout out to my friends Max and Brittany who just got engaged. They are an amazing couple who seem to make each others lives better. They have a smoothie and yoga routine going that anyone should envy. I'm happy to see love advancing in this independent valley, where the persuit of freedom seems to override the fostering of love.

Personally, I've always been a little weird about marriage. As a little girl, I fantisized about having 4 or 5 marriages. I'm pretty sure this is just a negative side effect of watching Elizabeth Tayor's E! True Hollywood Story way too many times. Once I hit 18, I started dreaming of a quicky marriage in Vegas followed by an annulment. It just seemed like a fun story for my retirment years. Really, I've just always been more into rings and dresses than the thought of a life long commitment. But I've been haunted by Shane's word, engaged, since he gave me the motivational tutorial. I do love being engaged in a physical activity. Does that equate in an abstract way? Would I like to be engaged to a person?

On a solo, low-key bike ride the other day, I got to thinking about staying engaged. When I had the bike in a high gear and was challenged, all I could think about was my movement. My mind was clear and happy. Then, I'd get tired and let myself coast. Beyonce as a really talented and engaged performer came to mind. I thought about how she must have amazing focus. Then, I thought about how much I admire her butt. Then, my own butt came to mind and a peddled harder for a few seconds. The distraction had crept in, though, and soon I was back to barely moving and thinking about how my butt seemed a little flatter that morning and maybe my butt is getting flatter from biking. Not good! I'm going for rounder and plumper! In this time, I could have been hit by a car or thrown by a pot hole because I was not in this world. I was completely in my own head and nothing was happening to my butt because I was barely cycling.

Maybe this is why people get engaged. It is easy to date around, and hook-up with someone who is ok when you really want physical affection. It's even becoming hugely, culturally acceptable, but it isn't challenging or very rewarding. It's the cycling equivalant of coasting. Really getting to know someone. Investing in another person. Accepting all of someone and allowing someone to see and accept all of you, even the really embarrassing parts. That must be what being engaged with another person is all about. It sounds really hard and scary to me. Even more frightening than rock climbing in Thailand. But the challenge is what makes it rewarding. It's what causes growth. It's what keeps you in the moment instead of thinking about stupid crap on TV. Rock climbing builds crazy little muscles in hands and arms and places I haven't even considered. Maybe getting engaged to another person, making that commitment, builds crazy little emotional muscles in the heart. Or wherever the love center really it. Maybe it makes us able to love stronger, longer, better. Sounds good to me.

The theory I was left with is, being challenged makes it much easier to stay engaged. We can live our lives like drones, coasting, or we can push harder, challenge ourselves, and stay engaged. Being engaged, we can enjoy this moment and grow in it. Otherwise we have to feel insecure about our butts compared to Beyonce's. That is no way to live.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Momentum

I thought I knew how to ride a bike. There hasn't been much biking in my adult life, but hey, it's like riding a bike. Right? My discovery is that phrase only applies to quick jaunts around town or one of those care-free beach rental rides. If you wanna ride a bike up a really steep butte, there is stuff you need how to know. Learning about shifting gears, different ways to engage your muscles, how to change a flat tire is important. Most crucial, however, on bikes or on whatever mode of transportation you have picked for this great road called Life, is how to keep your momentum up. And what's even more important is keeping your momentum up while flailing wildly, almost falling, and, let's hope, learning something. The butte I went up the other day was such a challenge I almost puked. I could feel the corners of my lungs. A new muscle has popped up on my forearm. That was some fricken doing. And after it was done I felt really great about myself. It would be nice to be in such great shape that I didn't dry heave. I guess that will come in time. Probably come when I'm better at keeping my momentum up.

What you all just missed in the writing process of this very line, was several failed attempts at getting personal with you. Words strung together to try and tie in the anxiety I feel living in a ski town and working as a waitress. I keep deleting and looking for a way to continue in metaphor. There are all sorts of things my fingers tap out that are then deemed either not worthy of the public or too private for the public. Here is what I don't want to tell you: how I wonder sometimes if I'm being sucked into a life that while being quite easy and in many ways fun, will never amount to a career, a family, or financial stability. What if I never fulfill my potential and i miss out on some of life's greatest joys? I would like to delete that last sentence. Pretend it never existed. Say I'm having enough fun to not care. In many ways, I don't. I don't need much money, I don't mind my work, and who knows if I even want a family. Children are scary and seem very time consuming. There. I said it and I'm not deleting it.

The anxiety is pinned to specifics, but really, I'm scared of losing momentum. Some people can relax, live in the moment, find every second's beauty, just enjoy. I'm not one of those lucky people. I need a goal to keep my eyes open and fixated on going forward, otherwise I just sit on the couch and think about the chances of actually dying of boredom and how ashamed I'll be to have died in such a whiney, losery way. The biggest shame in having these feelings is that the emotions are born from and suckle on the situation. Sitting on the couch makes me have the thoughts and the only reason that the thoughts are legitimized is because I'm there sitting on the couch. This is called a vicious cycle and it's what I am doomed for if I don't keep up momentum and push forward. If I'm not accomplishing, the feeling comes. There is no avoiding it, so, please, don't just tell me to relax.

I've accepted the feeling. That doesn't mean I've found a solution. I do know some handy tricks for keeping momentum up while going up a really steep butte on a bike, though.

1) Slow down.
2) Get into a lower gear.
3) Circle in one spot if you have to until you can push forward.
4) Vary the muscles you are depending on for strength.
5) Practice, train, build muscle and it will get easier.
6) If you absolutely have to stop, stop. Rest, get back on, and head down the hill for a few seconds to get some
momentum and then head back up the hill.
7) Visualize how hot your body is going to be if you keep it up.
8) Imagine all those assholes who have ever tried to make you feel fat, like you couldn't, or like you weren't good
enough to even try something. Now imagine you crushing them with every pump of the pedal. You can even puke
there heads if it comes to that.
9) Look around and be thankful for the beauty around you.

I don't know if these tips can help in every situation in life. If only everything had the automatic gratification that biking possesses. Then again, it is nice that most situations don't make me dry heave. Pros and cons on that one. These tips got my doubtful butt to the top of a butte. I don't know what to do with my time not on a bike, but maybe it's time to slow down, get in a lower gear, vomit on the heads of my doubters, and push forward.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Can Make My Own Sushi, Thank You Very Much

Badass shout out to my friend A. A is one of those amazingly tough girls, who's about 5'2" and 88 lbs, could out run, lift, pretty much out anything me. She can catch a fish, skin it herself, and then make a beautiful meal with it, looking so cute that you would never know she was covered in fish guts earlier that day. If she wasn't so nice, funny, and willing to teach, I'd have to hate her. Instead, I choose to see her as an inspiration. I'll never be able to be picked up and carried as easily as she is, sadly, but she can pass on to me her talent for rolling sushi and for that, I love her.

Like with everything, it seems, I could learn how to do this myself online, but it is so much easier and way more fun to have a badass to lead me. Here is an online step by step: http://sushiday.com/archives/2006/10/26/how-to-roll-maki-sushi/ If you can't find a badass guru, I think that you should fake it, till you make it and throw a sushi dinner party. Everyone will love you for it even if you aren't an expert. The world could use a little more love.

As a new hobby, I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This is part of my badass for life plan. Along with brushing, flossing, moisturizing, a regular sleep pattern, and being active, I think that cooking my own delicious food is one of the secrets to impenetrable health and happiness. Just a theory I'm testing out. If this doesn't work, I'm returning to candy and cocktails instead of meals. The jury is still out.

Here are the positive arguments for cooking that I've found so far:

- I can feed four people for what a nice restaurant would cost to feed just me. This is the beginning of my charity work.
- I've lost weight without even trying.
- There is double joy in knowing that it is delicious because I made it that way.
- People seem impressed by me!
- Who ever I cook for, the person starts to feel like family. I like it.


To everyone who has cooked for me, or let me cook for them, thank you. It was a pleasure. And a big ol' super-sized thank you to the people who answer my calls about how long to cook chicken or whatever. You are all very skilled and impressive. Everyone thinks so.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Outside Motivation

I wanted to keep it low-key today and take a nice walk to the library. On the way home, ominous clouds pooled above. As rain started to splat on my head, each single burst was a motivation. I don't mind a rain drenching, but I'm not gonna be fined for the library books getting soaked. Accidental workouts are the best. I got my heart rate way up without having to get my own motivation up. Thanks, weather. I needed some help today.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Queen of Snow King

Personal rule of thumb for Jackson: If someone else can do the activity with a baby strapped to them, I should be able to do the activity.

A few days this winter were spent with me trying to covertly tag along with people skiing with babies on their backs. To me, this is the most hilarious, frightening, and mystifying thing I have ever seen. The question, of course, is, "Is this safe?" One dude I followed didn't even own ski pants, opting to ski in jeans, but didn't hesitate to strap his baby onto his back and ski. My opinion is, if you don't care enough about the sport to buy the appropriate clothing, you aren't devoted enough to ski and carry a baby. And the guy didn't put down the safety bar on the lift. That's just dumb. A few days later, I was stalking a different dad. This dude was decked out in all the latest gear, and was telemarking, which is a type of skiing where your heel is able to raise and you do lunges as you ski. I don't really know why anyone does telemarking. As far as I can tell, this is just for people who find normal skiing so easy that they decide to add a lunge. Whatever keeps you motivated, crazies. I followed this badass dad off the lift, thinking, this is the guy. This uber-athlete is going to show me the way of extreme parenting. His form looked good, but he was going pretty slow. Ok, I thought. Good. He is being safe, avoiding the crowd. Nope! The dude was waiting for a thinning out so he could do a jump! He caught about 4 feet of air off a jump with a baby on his back. Since this is all discovered by my paparazzi style following of strangers, I know I lose some credibility on my judgment, but skiing with a child on your back is crazy. That said, I'd still like to do it. I will be wearing ski pants and not doing jumps, but someday, I'll expose a child to my insane yet moderate recklessness. Even if I have to borrow one. Just kidding. If you let me babysit for you, I promise not to strap your child to my back while skiing. That would be dumb... I think. Let's just stop talking about it.

Ok. So, since I don't have a child to occupy my time, and really don't want one, I'm prone to self-indulgent boredom. After a few days this off-season of icing my knees, painting my nails, and investigating Masters programs online, I decided to cut the crap and get my booty moving. I went for a walk. Low-key but nice. Not supplying the thrill I've gotten used to though, I considered kicking in up a notch. I went and once again stared up at Snow King. Not sure if people were still climbing up the thing and skiing down, I was secretly hoping that the hike would be deemed impossible. If no one else was doing it, I wasn't going to do it. Just as I was about to return home and settle into watching The Devil Wears Prada's director's commentary, a Subaru with skis on top pulls in front of me. A couple gets out, and as the woman started to unload the skis, the man pulls out a baby carrying thingy. Oh, damn. Not only are people climbing Snow King and skiing down, they are doing it with a child strapped to their back. No more excuses.

I went home, got my skis, and that's right, I climbed that mountain. My goal was to get halfway up. Even though I was so out of breath at times that I thought I was going to puke, I ended up making it to the top. Resorting to my tough times tactic, I counted steps to keep me moving forward. A lot of the journey I was only able to do thirty to forty consecutive steps without taking a breather. I got up to around 130 steps. I was only passed by one person and she was a God send because I was then able to follow in her footsteps, literally. Much easier than carving out my own path in the snow. Breaking trail is all well and good, but ain't no shame in following.

Two things I'm really proud of: 1) I resisted the urge to shout, this is my first time, to the girl who passed me headed up and the people who whizzed by me on skies. 2) I climbed all the way to the top of a mountain and skied down!!!

After, I felt so proud, I decided I deserved to celebrate myself. I cooked a steak, drank nice wine, and generally felt awesome. Way awesome. Ain't nothing like doing yourself proud. My life has given birth to a badass, me, and it's definitely a bundle of joy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We All Deserve a Nice Polish

My toe nail is about half grown back from when I killed it at the beginning of the ski season. For ski boots, toenails must be kept as short as possible. Between the ski season and the havoc of summer, I haven't painted my toenails in about a year. Today, I've decided to paint that pitiful half toenail a pretty pink. The nail may not be conventionally pretty by magazine standards, but I don't see why it should be treated like it's pretty. First coat is on and it looks like a multi-dimensional, all pink, cubist painting.

Plus, it's snowing today, so I don't think it's going to be trotted about in sandals anytime soon. Not that I'm ashamed of you, toenail. You are beautiful just the way you are.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back-Country Skiing: The Story of a Wimp

Just to let you know I'm a real live human being writing this, know that I'm telling this story while wearing a pink Snuggie and sitting on the corner of my bed, Indian style. Now, we are intimate. Let me share my embarrassment further.

Feeling all cocky at the end of the ski season, I decide I'm gonna kick things up a notch. The mountain right by my house, Snow King, that I've talked about before, being extremely steep and one of the first things I challenged myself to climb regularly, is taunting me once again. When the mountains have officially closed to skiing, stopping the lifts, people will continue to climb up them on foot and ski down. Yes, this crazy steep mountain, that I have almost thrown up while just trying to walk up the switch backs that aren't covered in snow, is a mountain that some people climb in ski boots, straight up. This town is fricken' cra-cra crazy. It appears some people are doing this on their lunch break! Don't they know that a good latte can take 4 minutes to make and fully savoring a panini takes 9 minutes. There isn't enough time on a lunch break to climb a mountain with skis strapped to your back. Some people don't understand time management. But, after two years of watching these idiots, I finally decided, if you can't beat them, which I def couldn't because there bodies are made of steel, join 'em. Plus, it's the off-season and I'm really, really bored. My other current project is at home laser hair removal. At this point, I'm up for anything.

Super motivation kicks in and I prance my booty down to one of the local badass stores, Skinny Skis, that I've really only bought fleeces and yoga pants in so far. Staring at the back-packs and glancing around the store, I'm hoping someone will say, can I help you, and I'll be able to casually ask questions, flippantly pretending I don't need that much guidance. I know the employees here are amazing cause I've seen them discuss gear with other people. This time of year, though, the town is practically empty and the store is switching over from winter to summer. All the employees are busily shelving. AKA: Ain't nobody gonna throw me a bone on this one.

I approach a woman. She's engrossed in organizing head-lamps. Interrupting her focus, "Excuse me. Could you help me find a back-pack that I can strap some skis to. I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking for. I really know NOTHING about it."

God bless this woman. She wasn't daunted. She laughed gently, sprung up, and said, "Ok. Let's find you a back-pack."

She then took 15 minutes to show me the type that would work for me, how to put skis on, all the advanced features I could grow into, and the best fit for my back. She even took the time to tell me about the skiing conditions on Snow King and the optimum time to go. Normally, I hate when sales people talk to me too much, like some little bump-it wearing boutique girl telling me that belts make all the difference. I KNOW ABOUT BELTS!!!! But this woman seemed like the Messiah to me. Thank you for taking the time to help me, glowing and beautiful Skinny Skis employee.

Next stop, scoping out the mountain. I'm standing at the base of Snow King, noticing there isn't a set path to walk up. I've heard about boot packs, which are like stairs in the snow that other people have formed by climbing up. This snow seems to be too thin to necessitate a boot pack. Not wanting to be the loser who is walking up and ruining the mountain, I decide I better ask somebody. Luckily, a middle-age man is just taking off his skis at the bottom. This guy looks like he will sympathize, since he has a belly big enough for me to curl up in and doesn't really seem to fit in with the super-athletes either. I once again, throw myself into the alter of self-deprecation.

ME: "Excuse me. I was just wondering if there is a spot that most people walk up this thing. I'd like to hike up and ski down but I've never done it, or anything like this, before. Any tips?"

HIM: "Oh, umm. Nope. You just get up there anyway you can. Getting up is the really hard part. You can just head straight up, or squiggle around"

Ahh, yes. I think I will squiggle. This guy is awesome.

ME: "And, where should I ski down? How's the snow?"

HIM: "I've been sticking to that path there. Pretty good."

ME: "Great! Thanks. Just gotta go get my snow pants on. Awesome. Sweet."

HIM: "Good luck." And with a smile and a couple of heaves. He seems to still be catching his breath. I love this man. This man is part of my team, even though he doesn't know it.

That part about just needing my snow pants is a lie. I've been planning all day to do this with my boyfriend, because the one thing I've learned about trying all this active stuff, is that I don't know crap, and it really helps to have someone there with me, even if they don't really know anything either. Another body out there helps. The real truth is though, that when it comes to physical activities and the outdoors pretty much everyone in this town knows more than me. Everything is a learning experience when you're really dumb. I'm blessed with a lot of teachers.

So, I'm waiting for a man to help me. I was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas and I just default to this setting. On my way to pick up said man, I get a call.

BOYFRIEND: "Hey, Babe. Chase wants to do some back-country today."

ME FULL OF DISAPPOINTMENT: "Oh, ok. Well, have fun. I'll catch up with you later."

BOYFRIEND: "No. No. C'mon. You've been saying you want to try this. You in?"

ME FULL OF FEAR: "Um, I don't think so. I don't have any of the avalanche gear. I'm not mentally prepared. I... You go. Have fun. I'm already turning my car around."

BOYFRIEND: "No, c'mon. I'm doing something with you. Just come over and we will either do Snow King or the back-country. Just get your butt over here."

ME FULL OF FEAR AND STALE OXYGEN BECAUSE I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO BREATH: "Ok."

I get there. I discuss this all with the BF and his epic skier of a roomie. They down-grade the back-country plans to something very light. Sugar Ridge or something. Some place with extremely low level danger and a simple hike in. Oh, yeah. I should explain. Back-country skiing is skiing in the national forest or where ever, but not at a ski resort. There are no lifts, you hike in, and there is no ski patrol whose job it is to save you. You need to have a beacon, shovel, and probe in case there is an avalanche and you need to be dug out. This is more probable because ski resorts bomb areas to prevent avalanches and in the back-country the only person looking out for you is your partner. Ain't no one gonna make it safe for you. People do it because the snow is amazing and you can continue to ski when ski season is officially over and the mountains are closed. This has definitely been a part of my fantasy. I want to be a back country skier. I've wanted to try this, but I don't know if I'm ready. The problem is, you can never know if you're ready for anything. You just have to try. Which is what I tell myself when my boyfriend pulls the ace on me as I waiver back and forth on going.

"C'mon. Aren't you a badass?"

This has been coming up a lot since I started this blog. I don't want to take a shot of tequilla and I someone says, "C'mon, badass." I don't want to ski and it's, "I thought you were a badass?" I get my feelings hurt and cry and it's, "You're a badass. Don't cry. There is no crying in badassery." Well, folks. Here's the news. I'm not a badass. I'm a wimp. I cry a couple of times a week. I feel lost a lot. I fall down frequently and randomly. I am a light-weight drinker and most of the time I would prefer to be home eating cake. I'm a wimp! Ok. I am. But, for some reason, I WANT to be a badass. I want it really bad. I want to be strong, physically and mentally. I want to take this life, and make it into something great. I want six-pack abs in my forties and a life I can tell my children about that will fill them with excitement and inspiration. That is the push-pull. What I am now, and what I believe I can be if I keep trying. So, I say yes to the back-country skiing.

I get a crash course in the avalanche gear that is strapped onto me and am shown how to strap my skis onto a back pack. This is all great stuff to learn.

But the skiing kicks my ass so very hard. The hike up kicks my ass cause I haven't been doing much cardio this winter. The skiing kicks my ass cause the snow is different than I'm used to having been baked in the sun. Also, and by far the worst, my fear kicks my ass. I'm out of my element, everything is new and I can't get my head to focus on skiing. Thoughts of my inability to do this new thing won't leave me alone, so, I see a tree and get scared I'm going to crash and fall over. I fall and fall and fall. My knees get fucked from it all and I'm feeling pain. Not can't-keep-going pain, but why-am-I-doing-something-that-would-inflict-this-much-hurt pain. I make it out, thanks to my boyfriend and his amazing friend helping me so, so much. Can't lie, though. I'm pissed. It was too soon for me and the snow conditions were crap. I shouldn't have been out there. More research and strength were needed for the trip to go well. I wouldn't have known that, though, if I didn't do it.

I've taken a few days off from physical activity. Icing my knees, stretching, and strengthening. This is the most pain I've felt in a long time, and the effects are different than I thought they would be. I thought I was pissed and not going to want to challenge myself like that again. I thought, good, an excuse to sit around and eat a lovely bag of cookies. Cookies are necessary but that isn't the final word. Now, all I want it to be better prepared and stronger. Then, I want to do it all again. I still dream about being a back-country skier and I just might be with a little help from my friends, sales people, and total strangers.

PS. It is unbelievably beautiful out there in the back-country.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Benefits Taste Fucking Delicious

There is a lot of pain in all this badassing. Some good, like when a muscle is built, and some bad, like when knees aren't bent enough coming off a jump skiing. Hell, even emotional pain like when I accidentally got my ski caught coming off a chair lift and did an awkward split that had both knees on the ground pointing out to the side, and then fell backwards. That was some physical pain, but mainly, it was the emotional embarrassment that really stung. If you haven't been that active, born with the badass spoon in your mouth, this journey is gonna be a little tricky, but there are perks. One major perk. Ice cream. Once you get the badass spoon in your mouth, it's ok to have ice cream occupying that spoon! Let me explain.

I've always been fascinated by those people who seem to be able to eat anything and stay slim. And by fascinated I of course mean bitterly jealous. Luckily, I've overcome my hatred of these people because a lot of really hot guys have this flaw, and I'm not gonna let my being a envious hag stand in the way of my having an Adonis like boyfriend.

Like most prejudices, I overcame this one through falling in love. My boyfriend happens to be one of those mass consumers who seems to transform all of the fried chicken he eats into six pack abs. It's annoying, but not a deal breaker. When we first got together I was worried about me being able to stay with him. I had to say to him, "Stop feeding me cookies." It became a refrain in our relationship. I would just be cuddling with him on the couch and he would be hand feeding me ice cream, cookies, breads, burgers. If he thought it was scrumptious, he thought I would see being fed it as an act of love and sharing. Umm. No! I thought, "how am I gonna keep this hot guy if I keep eating all this undeniably delicious crap!?"

Well, miracle of miracles, I've managed to lose 13 pounds since we started dating and I've been eating ice cream on the regular. How? The hot bastard drags me outside to ski, hike, whatever, constantly. I just keep badassing. I try new things and then I try to do the thing faster, bigger, better than I've been doing it, and the weight just accidentally slipped off. I feel like I lost it somewhere on the slope and I hope it dissolves in the snow and returns to the earth. Go make some tree fat, former bulk. I've got some ice cream to eat and a mountain to climb. Hell ya, it feels good to be a badass. And it tastes fucking delicious.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back to Life

The ski season is over. Yesterday, was the final day of skiing, my 55th day this year. With the closing of the mountain comes the closing of my job for about two months. The town of Jackson goes into a type of hibernation during the off-season. Spring is slow coming. It's snowing and grey today. With the ski mountain closed there is no reason for tourist to come here. With the murky weather and no tourist for people to make money off of there is no reason for anyone to stay here. Most of the people I know are preparing to take off for an exotic adventure or at least a road trip, if they haven't already. I've decided to stay here this off-season. I thought, I'll read, write, catch up on TV, enjoy the quiet. Today, though, I just miss the rush of skiing. This couch is not doing it for me the way my skis have started to do it for me. I don't want to sit. I don't want to relax. Seems I've underestimated the depth of my badass habits.

Guess I'll have to get my thrills by reminiscing about my season with you folks. Oh, the good old days, filled with babies strapped to peoples back when they skied and snot rockets. More to come. Right now, however, I'm working on, and this is not an exaggeration, twelve loads of laundry. I've let some domestic duties fall bay the wayside. Skiing is just so much more fun. Will I ever be able to just live a simple life again? 90210 is on and I don't care. Jackson, what have you done to me?

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