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Where Did Your Passion For Skiing And Riding Come From? The Long Answer -- Ski Rex Says...


While cruising social media today, I came across a post from one of the local ski mountains. Here, let me just embed that post below.

I decided to answer the question in a comment on that post, which you can see if you scroll through the comments a little bit. It shouldn't be too far down. But, I also retweeted it and made mention of a long answer to the question, to which my friends over at Pico said, "We vote for the long version!"

Those who know me best know that I always have a long version when it comes to answering just about any question with a story. In fact, most of my friends seem to prefer the short answer, when given the choice. I don't think I can help it. I'm just a storyteller. 

With that in mind, I now present to you the long version of that answer.

My passion for skiing came almost immediately the very first time I tried it. I was 12 years old and I tried skiing totally on a whim. It was winter activities time in sixth grade and of all the activities I could have chosen from, I decided to go with skiing.

So, from then on, every single Wednesday afternoon, the school kids got let out of class a couple of hours early and bused to whichever activities they chose. For me, and the others that wanted to get into or who were already into snowsports, it was off to Living Memorial Park in West Brattleboro, VT. A small park hill that was serviced, and still is serviced, by a single T-bar.

I remember loving every second of every single time I got to go to that little local hill and learn the game. I didn't take to it too fast, but I was definitely getting the hang of it. Even the day that I went through a pretty nasty puddle and the water from the puddle turned into frozen slush on the bottom of my skis, which kept me from moving. Even that day didn't discourage me and I looked forward to getting back out there every single time. 

For me, though, skiing would stop that spring. For various reasons, I was not able to continue after the winter activities sessions were over. I mean, I did get one try on a snowboard in my backyard that following winter. A friend of my stepfather came across it for free. It was just a little basic one and he let me have it. So, I rode it in the yard. But, the want and passion to get back on a hill never left me. It was always there.

I think part of my enduring passion for snowsports stuck with me for two reasons. The first, I was growing up in Vermont. Snowsports are a pretty big deal here. That could also be the reason why I was really big into cheddar cheese and syrup for a good portion of my youth. The second reason, I think, could be from another passion of mine, movies & film.

There were many times once could catch me taking a break from all of the science fiction films that I would watch and watching something that had to do with skiing. Whether it be some of the classic films made by Warren Miller or something from the fiction section. I do remember Ski Patrol being one of my favorite comedies, as a kid. 

In any case, having skiing in my face, no matter how it was presented, it kept the passion alive for me, I think.

Fast forward a few years to when I turned 15 and was able to start working for a ski mountain. Working at Mount Snow was my first job ever, which also came with one of the best perks anyone can receive...a ski pass. The $5 rentals didn't hurt, either. It was then that I and my friends would take each opportunity, which presented themselves more as we grew through our teens and into driver's licenses, to hit the slopes whenever we could.

A good amount of my teen years and early 20s were spent on the sides of Mount Snow and Haystack. From there I would branch out to ski Stratton, Killington, and mountains in New York and Pennsylvania as I moved around during my early adult years.

Beyond that, the story would get even further away from the point than it already is. It was also end up including those times where my passion for skiing actually faded, which is a story for another time, if I could bring myself to tell it.

The answer, though, is that my passion for skiing started on day one when I was 12 years old on that little park hill in southern Vermont. I fell in love with it then and I am falling in love with it all over again now as an adult.

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