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On Learning and Skiing

by Tyler

This weekend, my friend Ian and his girlfriend Melissa drove up from New York City for the weekend. Ever since Tara and I moved to New England, Ian has been saying we should go downhill skiing together. After three winters, I finally felt like I had the time to incorporate a new hobby into my life. This Saturday, we hit the slopes of Killington.

When it comes to doing new things for the first time, I have a tendency to be a little… intense. I've tried many times to write about it, but words always seem to fall short. Here are two recent attempts:

When I decide to change myself, I envision that I am etching a line into reality itself, drawing a boundary around the edges of who I am. Then, I tell myself something like "I was not [insert anything], but as of now, I am [insert anything] for as long as I wish to be." In recognition of the truth I am creating, I imagine my consciousness screaming outward beyond the boundary, encompassing a new reality.


At the center of me there is an infinitesimally small and infinitely dense focal point of boundless curiosity. The energy that resonates from this core inveterately pervades every fiber of my awareness. With a perpetual persistence, it drives me to grow, to change, to expand. It compels me to discover new things, and to support others in their pursuit of the same.

There are few things more enjoyable to me than new experiences, whether viewed through my eyes or those of another. When I am vigilant enough to recognize these moments, I am called to focus the blinding light of my intention upon them, illuminating a new piece of the infinite darkness that lies just beyond present understanding. With each revelation, a boundary in the distance emerges, calling to be explored.

...anyway, enough of that. Back to the story.

When we arrived, I rented gear and signed up for a two hour introductory skiing course. Meanwhile, Ian and Melissa hit the slopes. Having made the conscious decision to become a skier today, I absorbed everything as completely as I could during the class. Whether due to my esoteric view of reality, the amazingness of my teacher, or just because I have decent balance, skiing felt pretty natural.

At some point while I was taking the class, Ian and Melissa surreptitiously found a place to watch. As soon as it was over, I grabbed my phone to send Ian the message: "let's do this" (by that I meant, get on a lift to the top of the mountain immediately). As I hit send, a note from Ian popped up saying basically the same thing: "you're ready for the hill I think, haha." And so, we got on a lift and headed to Ramshead Peak (3,600 feet).

Ian & Tyler Texting About Skiing

The first run was basically terrifying awesome. As soon as I tipped out of the starting area, I was going many times faster than I ever have on skis. I didn't feel very comfortable turning so I just leaned into it and bombed straight down the run. Apart from the fact that my short learner skiis rattled like crazy the whole way down, it was incredible. A few runs later, with some instruction from Ian and Melissa, I started to get the hang of turning at speed. Then, Ian took this video:

By the end of the day I was feeling pretty confident, so we went to the top of K1 to try a black diamond run. On the way down, I fell in some spectacularly cartwheeling way. I'm not even sure what happened, but it felt like getting hit by a car. My chest is a bit tender now but I am sure it will be fine. I can't wait to go again!

Thank you SO much for coming to visit Ian and Melissa! Thank you for showing me the slopes, for sharing your knowledge with me, and for being such great people. I can't wait to go skiing with ya'll again—hopefully on some massive untouched mountain on a far flung corner of the planet somewhere!