When we're born, we're all destined to become something. Some of us are lucky enough to become skiers.
Throughout our lives our interests in skiing evolve, from following our parents around the hill to racing, park, and backcountry exploration and ski mountaineering. Skiing then becomes a piece of our life that we inevitably share with our children, grandchildren, and friends. Skiing becomes who we are; It becomes our culture.
As a young child, there is so much promise in the future. We look up to our ski idols, race our older siblings, and we dream of the skiers we will someday become. Entering adulthood, we lose a bit of our youthful anticipation. Skiing isn't about what kind of skier we will become, it is about the skier we are that day. Our fulfillment goes only as far as imagining what we are accomplishing in that phase of our lives. We don't see our future in skiing beyond today's big line.
But one thing overlooked is skiing as a life path. We don't realize the enjoyment we find when our buddies throw us a high five after a first descent or landing a new trick might be topped by moments that are yet to come. When we're in our twenties and thirties, we might not realize we still have so much of this ski life left to live.
We can look around at the skiers who used to push it in the mountains, but now have families and see they're happy. Sharing skiing with their kids is the equivalent of making turns for yourself on a powder day. As life goes on, those skiers retire from their jobs and turn into men and women that make it up to the mountains every day, all winter long with new and old friends, enjoying après beers. They become people charging downhill at eighty, even ninety-years old. They have enjoyed skiing throughout their lifetime, every step, every phase, and through every age. They are winter's people.