The Other “C” Word
Everyone, from exercisers, to athletes, to couch potatoes,
to your mom hates this word. Its utterance elicits moans from those within
earshot. It conjures vivid mental images of varying degrees of horribleness in
everyone’s mind. No, I’m not talking about a curse word (or “swear”, or “cuss”,
depending on your dialect). I’m talking about CARDIO.
I don’t like it either. I’d rather chew the excess fat off
of my own belly than spend an hour a day, six times a week on a hamster wheel.
Earn Your Turns; a simple phrase, thrown around the mountain
riding community, but rarely adhered to. In this era of 50 passenger trams,
gondolas with Wi-Fi access and flat screens, detachable high-speed six-passenger
heated and wind-guarded chairlifts, and all manner of apps on our phones to
track total vertical feet (or meters for our international shred buddies) traveled
and runs completed, we have become forgetful. We, as a skiing and snowboarding
people, have forgotten how much effort it took for our sports' pioneers to get to
those pillow runs, snow fields, and steep & deep faces.
Leaving my morning group was hard
at first, until I met Matt, a 20-something paraplegic since birth who has been
skiing for about 15 years. This part of my day was the time during which I was
reminded that independence is a myth; that even the most advanced people and those most resistant to assistance can never truly be independent and successful.
At first I
had no idea what my role was going to be. I had seen Matt flying down the slope
from the mountain’s peak early in the day with ease and grace.
Sometimes the universe hands you
something amazing. In places like Taos, New Mexico, the likelihood of these
incredible coincidences, of fate giving you a gold nugget while panning life’s
stream, seem to swell exponentially.
Small things started to add up in
our favor early upon our arrival, like the great guys at
Cottam’s Ski Shop
really taking their time, making sure my guest and I had exactly the right
gear, comfortable fits, and did so each day.
Small things; we met a lovely,
newly engaged, couple après ski day one who gave us three nice bottles of wine
that they didn’t want to pack in their return luggage.
With my back totally healed, I was resuming “normal”
activity. I put the word normal in quotation marks because, normal, for me, is
not viewed as normal for others.
<- This is normal, right?!
My winter normal includes skiing aggressively,
singing professionally atSt. Paul’s Cathedral
, frontingBig City Wedding Band
for the odd winter wedding or function, doing shows with my original hard rock
to support the upcoming release of our debut full-length
album, and working out with intensity while training clients and managing