What I miss: something I love so much that I would do it until I fell down dead but at the same time can go about unhurried. I’d be happier, healthier, and a hell lot more sunburnt. Okay, that’s the problem-or the major draw-with alpine snowboarding. In backpacking you have to commit-it’s all about making it to the destination before dark/hunger hits/bears maul. With alpine snowboarding you can feel the rush of adrenaline and jelly legs but have the safety plug, too; you can stop when your legs give out with no consequence. You can stop to admire the beauty.
I wonder why it hits me so hard. Do I experience things differently from other people? Although not religious, I have always been highly spiritual. Things touch my soul; material is unimportant; the essence of things and people concern me more than practical or taste considerations. I fail again and again, to be typical. As standing out is too painful to bear, I suppress my feelings and become more and more typical, at the same time losing that spiritual high that constitutes me. That is, without these memories that cause pain themselves, I am someone else who is infinitely inconsolable. My fear is so deep I need a tangible high to think about in order to carry on.
What high do I remember now so fleetingly that I truly know how deep my anxiety runs? I remember a scanter memory, that was of a run off Raven’s Express, which was only open for a little while, the way Sky chair was only open for a little while this winter. Come to think of it this was a completely non existent winter. What a waste. 2013/2014 was a non winter too but 100% less nonwinter than this one. In fact I had a handful of days of fresh snow, and that was probably as much as most casual skiiers get, considering chance. So I got a good deal; I complained but really I enjoyed it inside. I remember loving it completely because in my first year I could not tell the difference between a good and bad snow day. All I could tell was that there was no new white snow on the trees, bah, who cared. On the Raven’s Express run, one side was cliff that seemed to be permanently attached to blue sky, and it scared the shit out of me to ride it. In front of me would be a ribbon of white snow that always snaked off around a semi-capped rock wall that hid a turn. There was always a corner I couldn’t do, and although the run was quite wide, I wasn’t; able to control the board well enough to turn well on it, and after the turn the run gathered speed. So, I was scared shitless in paradise but at least I knew I was in paradise, shitless or not. And I could not imagine being happier in that place at any moment unless I had someone significant with me. Snowboarding isn’t just hedonistic, it’s runner’s high, it’s sexual.
I’ve sat on my ass for 7 years since first snowboarding; how many more will I sit? I’m 21, I’m not a kid anymore. My anxiety paralyses me but when I’m able to think really deeply about it, it was all my fault: I gave up, no matter the circumstance. I never gave up on snowboarding facing the same or worse amount of familial ridicule when I gave up on school and taking showers this half year, I am to blame. There is no reason not to be strong after having a good cry; no reason to compromise morals in order to feel less guilty about something that is good for you; no reason to give up because it’s easier. No reason to look for excuses why the world isn’t worth living in; no reason to drown yourself in any compulsion, addiction, deprivation you can handle. None.
Not when there’s something as beautiful as Raven’s Run to get up for. In order to give up you have to discount the beauty of the world, and that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s ironic that we all run from our dreams in fear of failing them the closer we get. Really, all people do in this world is get close to and fail their greatest dreams. Otherwise, there’s be a lot more writer, sports stars, free spirits and so forth.
Only you can make your greatest dreams come true. Only you can convince yourself It’s worth it.