Skiing… A Love Story

lvTo be perfectly frank, I don’t like the title to this essay. It’s borderline trite, fairly vague, and leads to some pretty personal emotions. But, I cannot get those words out of my head this week. Since they popped up they have been pushing and pushing on me to write; although I am intimidated by the prospect.

I believe there is magic in skiing. It has been the most powerful force in my life since junior high. Skiing was the safe place I could go after losing my best friend in a car accident. He was gone, but all of our pre-adolescent hiding places on the ski hill were still there for me. In high school it was the equalizer between myself and other traditional student athletes. I couldn’t read a defense to save my life, but my offensive skills in bumps at 30 miles an hour were to be reckoned with. Each time I stood unsure in life I put my boots on and transformed into a capable and confident young man. That is the power of skiing, and I had fallen in love with it.

kjAt 22 I found myself finishing several successful deployments in the military service and unsure how to move forward. Skiing and I had taken a break for those four years, seeing each other infrequently, each changing in important ways. I missed it, so I packed my sea bag and moved to the Wasatch Mountains, skiing in the Rockies for the first time and quickly falling in love again. Along the way I met a beautiful woman that worked for a local lodge, carelessly living and loving in the way that only 23 year old’s can. As my second winter season ended, the riptide current of life pulled us apart, heartbroken and theatrically sad. Another person gone yet skiing remained.

Time passed, finding a different perspective and life outside of skiing and away from Utah seduced me. Money was more than abundant through the bubble that was the Mid-Atlantic housing market of the mid-2000’s, and I was well placed to capitalize on it. With an ego that only a 30 year old up and coming man could muster, I stood on job sites watching my work unfold and declared myself to be at the top of my game. Laughter and love permeated every part of life and skiing became secondary to worldly pursuits. You know the things that seem so important to have before you find what it’s like to have nothing at all. Before you find out what and who is really important in life.

gcI did not stop skiing, but I treated it as a mistress. Something hidden and not shared with the ones I loved, believing that it was mine alone. When the recession began (does anyone remember that?), and my world was dismantled one possession at a time, I tried to turn to the mountains again, but the rolling green hills of Appalachia were no longer enough. With everything gone, but the love of my family and some very close friends, I began to miss my old flame. Her mountains reaching above the clouds to the bluest sky I had ever witnessed, the comforting embraces of her deep, light snow, the whispered sweet nothings as I flew between the spruce and the fir. I knew that to love I must live, and to live I had to go back to the mountains of Utah.

bmA year has passed since returning, and the love affair I began with skiing as a child is in its twenty fourth year. We have seen each other grow and change, enduring periods of separation and doubt. Through our relationship there have been celebrations and tragedies along with friends made and lost, but in the end we haven’t lost that spark, that feeling you get when you open your eyes and know you will spend the day in love. Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope it’s full of love and fresh snow!

It was lunch with Paralympics Champion and Deer Valley Ambassador Stephani Victor and her Husband/Coach Marcel that put the title of this essay into my head. When they return from World Championships in several weeks I will be skiing with them again and learning what it’s like to ski sitting down, how the Paralympics work, and why poorly termed “disabled” skiers consider themselves far more able bodied than you or me.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Deer Valley Resort. | Video Credit: Instagram User @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

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Leon AllbrightWhere is that

10 hours ago

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Kim Wohleking-FernandezThat snow is for real!?

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Sarah BulverThat is beauty!!!!'nnnn

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Melissa BaileyMichael Bailey this is why they have moose on everything there 😂 still never saw my moose

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Jacob VincentRuth Arbagey apparently we needed to be at deer valley today!

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Meg McKownSuzanne Mckown Seeeee...Park City has all the cool animals too! Haha

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Dan PhelpsCourtney, could be a good season...

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Lisa Borgfeld WhiteGwenn Beaver, what a difference a week makes!

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Ged CarringtonHeather Sherry see they have moose in Utah lol

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Michela SeehusenShirley Hartlauer are you guys missing Utah yet???

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Alicia MoranAmanda Sanford, this is what we got today.

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Jessie JohnsonBeautiful ❤️❤️💜💜❤️

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Brenda Perry-KerrI wish I was there!!

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Patricia Davis LahnMy neighbor... just checking in(lol)

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Marie Benson PitilloAwesome!!! Can't wait!

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Sarah Kaul PettigrewI am so in love!

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Angie MattinsonBeautiful!!!

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Jill Catalano TrosoSnow already!!!!

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Eric PikeWow so early

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Janet Bissell MooneySooo beautiful

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Jeff NesslerThat's the smaller one, when we were up there on Saturday my wife had the bigger one walk right in front of her yeah that scared her

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Meredith Amelia BerlyColin Alexander Berly hey you who keeps up with deer valley's weather on a regular basis is it snowing this much there???? Already????

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Martha BurlesonAwww,,,How pretty! My daughter n family lives there in Park City,,,I just visted them few weeks ago,,,,Love Park City,,,We even lived there in Utah awhile...Snow was Always beautiful....

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Sheila BortreeWow. I have been going to see Chris for years, not lucky enough to see Moose yet. Looking forward to that day

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Suzie GordonOh yes mam! Snowed all night and all day!!!

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Amy DavidsonJudi Zarrella is it really snowing there??? I was seriously looking into moving that way..... but snow in September?!?!?!?

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Eric AlexanderI swear only a week ago I was standing there drinking a cold beer and it was 70 degrees

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Jeff HallAnd to think, last week it was brown pow and perfect cycling conditions.

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Ed MccallOh Mother keep it coming, no more hot weather!

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Regan EdwardsMy 3 month countdown to Deer Valley is ON! ❤️👏Christopher Flint, I'm all about that base!

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Suzie Gordon...and it's still snowing now!

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Jennifer StebenGoing to be another great season!

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Tasha Spencer AgnewSimon Agnew, the countdown is on!! White stuff....yay!!!! 🎿⛷

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Ed KliczewskiOMG Scott Scott Kliczewski, check out Park City!

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Melissa BremauerSue Wood yes yes yes!!! I have booked dinner for NYE at Cena, all confirmed 💃💃

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Steve DawsonAnde Dawson need to sort out our plans

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Angee Palmer DeanI'm so not ready for snow. We need to have fall first.

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Wendy ChiojiI love this.

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Melissa Jane Ruberts GusemanNot yet, please

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Jeffrey HainesWinter is coming...

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Todd WallaceIt will be melted by next week.

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Judi Zarrella

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James RazerLove to see this in the snow!

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Tina WeyersWow look at all that snow!

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Staci HugginsSooooo, not right!

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Rick KolminHere’s to nice powder all ski season.

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Karen GrossmanAwesome!

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Cindy CreteauToo early😬

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Raquel Aliceayayyyyyyy!!!! 💙💙💙💙

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