Absolutely all of these conversations and events occurred, though maybe not at the same time….
So we were sitting on the tailgate of the truck, eating our protein bars, Paddy and I, watching the other skiers cruise around the 1.8k loop, when he asked me, “Hombre, why are we we here?”
And this is what I said.
“I don’t know dude, I’ve thought about it a little, and I don’t think it’s too complicated. I think maybe we’re here just to learn how to V1 on our off side, flex those ankles, and get klister off our hands.”
“We’re here to get up at 4:00 in the morning, use an sketchy website, and watch our friends race in Europe. Or pound the walls when the wifi isn’t strong enough give us the live results.”
“We’re here to watch at least once as a race hits 2k to go, Petter blasts off, and everyone else starts to wish they had become accountants. Or as Marit surges to front 2k in, and leaves 2nd place in the dust like she’s a ’76 Fiat. Or as Kikkan wins again and makes all the Norwads say ‘Hva?!’ one more time.”
“We’re here to try and get a haircut in a foreign country where you can’t speak the language, and pray it doesn’t end up looking like something from Jackson Pollock. Or better yet, to let a friend with no experience attack our mop-tops with a pair of kitchen shears. We’re here to spend all week working up the courage to say ‘Hello’ to the cute girl from another country.”
“We’re here to sit on the couch, wear our favorite sweatpants, and free-with-race-entry T-Shirt after an OD on a Sunday afternoon with nowhere else to go, and the Broncos kicking off in 15 minutes.”
“We’re here to go extra thin on the kick-wax, and somehow make it through 15k. Or catch a ride with someone way too fast for us and hold on anyways.”
“We’re here to buy the grocery store out of chocolate milk, and drink it all in the next 48 hours. Or to laugh at carb control and eat mounds of fried anything at all while knowing that not a molecule of it can stick to our slippery bones.”
“We’re here to finish a ski, pick a rock from the shoulder, and nail that stop sign from 60 feet away. Or find the perfect swimming hole, right on the side of the road.”
“I don’t think we should spend our time worrying about the what-if’s we encounter every day, let’s just enjoy the moments we have in front of us.”
“We’re not here to get on FasterSkier, or be mentioned on Das Hoff’s blog, the truly great stuff never does. Like taking a solo ski through the Green mountains, or peering off the edge of the Fire Tower on a bluebird day when the only people around are your teammates.”
“We’re not going to sit on our deathbeds one day and say ‘Dang, I really should’ve spent more time on Econ’ we’re going to say ‘DUDE, remember that time we got lost in the woods and had to run from that black bear?!’”
“The world spends so much time worrying about what comes next. Skiers? We try to care about what’s happening right now. We’re not here to find our path, this IS our path…..What do you think of that?”
And Paddy said “Cool, but you didn’t really answer my question.”
And I said “No?”
And he said “No, what I meant is why are we still here when Annie said her plane landed 30 minutes ago?”
The premise for this post comes from a great writer named Rick Reilly, if you like it, thank him.