Tuesday, January 17, 2006

When we get our Ideal, what do we do?

I'm a newbie skier, I admit it. I mean I do pretty well on the mountain but I've only been skiing about six years. I live in the Northwest which means that powder days are almost non-existent.

So today, for the first time, only the second time I've seen actual powder, we had what everyone can say was a powder day at Meadows. Nothing was groomed. I used the knowledge that you don't weight your toes so much on your skis when it's powder and skied from the backseat quite a lot and had to do several runs where the snow was flattened out to get a decent forward stance back! It hurt my legs too. I could feel the difference when I hit places that were flattened out and I could ski "normally."

Going up the lift, I mentioned my worries to several seasoned looking skiers, with their fat skis and obvious understanding of the powder conditions.

"Powder is hard," one said.

"Skiing powder is a lot of work," said another.

"It's not easy like groomed runs. Everyone talks about powder but you can tell those who are really good at it and those who aren't. It's not all it's cracked up to be."

So here I am, floating in the ski lift over pristine powder conditions, the snow falling lightly around us. I could have asked for sun rather than clouds, but other than that, today was undoubtedly a near perfect ski day. Conditions that I could only imagine would be ideal for all "real" skiers who knew what they were doing. I hoped to soon understand the thrill of conditions like this for myself.
Suddenly instead of raving about powder as they do in the magazines and apres ski, I am told that it's hard and it's a lot of work and it sounded like everyone would be just as happy with a sunny day on good groomers.

Everyone has ideals and their sort of ideal life. I wonder how many of us, confronted with that presumed ideal, would act the way the skiers I met acted? When confronted with our ideal, do we talk about the wonders and why it's perfect or do we only see the downside of how much work it actually is?


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