When I was a kid, skiing was more important than anything in the world. I’d wake up and suit up in hand-me-down red racking pants from my cousin Mark and a pink puffy jacket from last year’s sale rack and hit the slopes. I was a terror and learned early that you could win every impromptu race if you were just brave enough not to turn.
In the past few years I’ve kept my skis in storage as I attend to other sports and obsessions, but this year the illogic of my lack of skiing is making me reconsider my decision. I’m in Jackson Hole, WY right now where there is 18” of fresh and more on the way. Two days ago I was in Steamboat with the same. North Conway, NH, Durango, CO, Ouray. The biggest snow years, everywhere.
And me with no skis.
Or, not the kind most would use in these conditions.
What I do have are my skinny skate skis, circa 1994. I am not a good skate skier. I am not even somewhat good. In fact, I’ve recently realized that I don’t want to learn how to get better, because I don’t want to have to get better. My inefficiency translates to brutally hard workouts in short amounts of time. I rarely glide, go out when conditions are at their worse, and don’t use wax. This blissful state of ignorance, I know, will not be tolerated for much longer. But while it is here, I gladly strap my poles on wrong, catch an edge on my pole point, and go down. It’s been a while since I was so willingly bad at something. I wonder how long I can keep it up?