As you read this, I will be climbing a mountain on my backcountry skis in Grand Teton National Park. It has become one of my favorite places to ski. The grandeur of those mountains in the winter is something to behold. But don’t get me wrong: It’s not a relaxing vacation. The dangers of backcountry ski travel loom large on your consciousness and make for restless nights. There are endless reviews of the avalanche forecasts & maps, and heated discussions about the best aspects & locations to climb and ski. I’m almost always relieved when I’m heading back home unscathed.
I almost didn’t go on this guy’s trip (otherwise known in the ski industry as “Manuary”), because of the economic headwinds our company has been experiencing. Save the money, focus on the business — that’s been my mantra lately. Yet, as I was Nordic skiing just before the holidays, my inner monologue turned into a back-and-forth dialogue around the pros and cons of taking the trip.. The adventure voice ultimately won out because skiing is my life. I’m not being glib, either. For me, gliding on snow aboard any type of ski is a feeling I simply can’t live without. But that’s not all…
Skiing opened doors for me, allowed me to see the world, and gave me the confidence and humility to do what I do now. It’s way more than the excitement and endorphins you feel while doing it. There’s a solo, monk-type introspection when Nordic skiing or in the zone climbing up mountains — as well as the woot-hollering camaraderie as you nail the line with your friends. There is a flow state that is tough to find elsewhere in your life. In short you get to live life at its fullest.
My biggest fear for my kids when they were young was them not finding their passion in life. The thing that gives their life meaning. Finding that cornerstone in life for yourself is, quite simply, the point of life itself. (I’m happy to report that they did find their passion and can fill in the blank in the title above).
Finding that thing that recharges you, that renews your spirit, is not only essential, it IS your life. All the important responsible stuff like the job, kids, home, family, and friends all benefit from you carving out the time and budget to get after your passion. It’s what makes you you. Don’t put it off. Make the “fill-in-the-blank” thing in your life a priority and don’t look back. The rest of your life will thank you.