top of page

Old ski bums

No clever title. Just the facts. Two old ski bums got together and went skiing. It wasn’t the same but it was. We laughed at the same jokes, had the same intention (go skiing), and snapped a comical photo during our journey.

When I look at that printed-20-year-old-plus photo taken at the base of Mount Sopris (12,965 feet above sea level), I see two mischievous young men doing what they love. Last week, I visited the mountains with my friend Ron. We did what we practiced for years. Not ski (yes we did ski), but we repeated what we did a thousand times before. We put one foot in front of the next and followed that joy.

No, it was not the same. We did not start at 5AM. We started at 2PM. We did not climb 4,300 vertical feet. We climbed maybe 500 vertical feet. We did not carry our skis on our backs so we could ski the steep terrain. We took light skis and slid down a gentle slope from the Guanella Pass summit (elevation 11,669 feet).

“Into the blue again, after the money’s gone” prophesied in Talking Heads song, “Once in a Lifetime.” We were in the blue sky with no money to spend and a simple goal: to be in the mountains. It really did not matter if we made it to the summit. The point of being an old ski bum or a young ski bum is to keep moving without all the baggage of stuff that includes physical, mental and spiritual stuff.

Ron had surgery a few years ago. I am a candidate for surgery waiting for my turn. “The body is a limit,” said a voice to a woman. The mind is unlimited. Our joy surpassed the limit of the body. If we listened to the body, we would have sat in the car and told stories about the old days (we did this later).

If me and my friend Ron have bodies in 20 years, we will rent a couple snowmobiles with drivers and have them shuttle us to the top and ski down. It does not matter! The body is a funny thing. It is like a pair of skis. Throw some wax on them and push them down a hill. The mind, however, does the driving.

Who are you listening to? Who is driving your body?

I have returned from the mountains of Colorado to the flatlands of the New England coast. The cross country skis in the basement wait for the driver.

bottom of page