Here’s a thought I had all season that slinked unconsciously at the back of my mind, not ready to be brewed until now.
I had kept the season pass in my pocket all year so it occurred to me that I had bought the lanyard redundantly. Yes, I had to buy it-$2.50 in fact. Why? It did not really make sense; it wasn’t me to overpay what I delineated should be free, and only if my memory were shot like my grandma’s would I need to carry it around my neck. Well, it turned out those unconscious presumptions were both at least half true. The other is that any piece was still a piece when it came to my mountain. It was probably set up in my mind something like this; lanyard, $2.50, toque, at least quadruple, probably 8X that, $20, a T shirt, well, I did not even have a tier high enough for that in my 1 tier system. So Lanyard it was-pretty blue, plastered with logos, guaranteed to make you look like a flashy ad if worn. Well I never did wear it, no, over the course of five months, even when my pockets were full, especially not that time I forgot it. It nested between my phone and wallet, and attempted to do wacky things with my earphone cables when I stupidly stuffed my mp3 in my pocket instead of a free, unconquered pocket on my other side. It happened. Okay, the instance was nowhere near as rare as I hope to imply.
So yes, the lanyard was a choice I paid for. But if I have learned anything, you will be made to pay more than what is due, and then a loyal puppy tax. They have the cherry on top so they can make you bark for it. But that’s okay; most people would have used the lanyard or not bought it. I look back and see why-it was a tool, not a thing. It got me in; I wouldn’t hang my hands or forks around my neck, both of which are useful tools; it’s clear they belong in my pockets. Still, a new impulse has emerged once they ceased being tools and demanded to be delegated as relics. Other people have medals that they can wear proudly around their necks. But sooner or later the medal goes back into its case and join a shelf of similar looking discs. This is the way it is; success is a fleeting moment and being a champion is, too. What does it feel like to have that weight around your neck? Do they ever wish they could wear them year round? Is it fortifying to rub one’s medal in one’s pocket in the face of adversity? The first step to answering these questions is first championing oneself, to string evidence of past successes in front of you, to wear that lanyard. To be a champion one must first look into the mirror and see a champion, maybe not one that necessarily won anyone’s first place, but championed their own dreams.
The lanyard still should have been free.