Give it a try if… You are eager to have another great story to tell – yourself, of course.
Steer clear if… You can’t even take a baby step without someone showing you the right direction.
“How vuz yer ski day?,” asked the wizened lady who had hosted me at her table with her husband over breakfast. “Simply amazing! I reached the other side of the resort and had a lot of fun,” I said. “Yesss, but… Only? [as in alone],” she inquired with a puzzled look. “Skiing only, no goot.” For once, I did not even knock up a reply. I would rather keep the secret of how I had treated myself to one of the most extraordinary days of my life.
Despite the fact that I have designated 2012 as “The Year of the Difference” – a theme I will elaborate on in future posts – my bourgeois roots keep me from calling myself a genuine nonconformist. After all, I did wear Armani for my confirmation and thought “Nine 1/2 Weeks” was a great movie. So the first time I resolved to ski alone, all I aimed for was a brief, half-determined attempt at enjoying the freedom my job grants me despite the lack of equally self-ruling playmates. There I was, gliding on eggshells towards emancipation: little did I know that I would turn into the King of Solo.
Aim for More
Society is simply not prepared for someone who chooses to spend a whole week riding white waves in the company of loneliness; if you decide to follow this tip, be prepared for high costs and a few weird looks. Yet I will endure the associated hassles anytime – and so should you – considering the rewards of this experience. I am not referring to the obvious, selfish benefits of picking the routes and the menus, or not having to hold your companion’s backpack while they take a #1. I am inviting you to skip right past these trivial details and engage in a tête-à-tête with the meaning of existence. Here is how.
Tipsology’s Certified Solo Skier Training Program
LEVEL 1: DIG UP YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE – Start by taking a deep breath and chanting your new mantra: I can do this. You can decipher that daunting piste map and end up turning it into your best friend. You can survive a whole week having the mountains as your only conversation partner. If you fall, you can lend yourself a helping hand. If you get lost in the fog, you can find your way out of it. You can do this, alone.
LEVEL 2: AWAKEN YOUR INNER CHILD – Train your levity muscles by playing suitable games – like turning into a world-class movie star that no one recognizes thanks to your helmet and goggles. Or celebrating in full regalia this year’s Tree Hugging Day. Or competing against yourself to see who is able to eat more apple pie. Or while you are skiing, falling on purpose every thirty-eight seconds. Believe me, it is fun.
LEVEL 3: EMBRACE THE PARADOX – As you sit quietly on a chairlift, appreciate the genius of mankind. Look at the complex, imposing machinery we set up to explore another way of relating to this planet of ours, which happens to have snowy declivities we can slide down on. Isn’t it crazy? Now switch your focus to the distant scenery. As you gaze at the jagged peaks, contemplate the flawless beauty Earth reveals when we just f***ing leave it alone. Will we ever learn? And should we?
LEVEL 4: GET IN TUNE – Now that you have switched off your mind, turn on your enhanced senses by skiing with music (provided, of course, you are a confident skier). Your goal is to acknowledge, through active and involved listening, the ever-flowing unity between the music on your MP3 player and each sensation and movement of your body. Once you get this, include the people, the landscapes and the weather that make up your environment. Finally, make room for the energetic fields that manifest themselves through silence and the absence of any form. Panta rei, my friend: unbrace yourself and just go with it.
LEVEL 5: You are now officially ready to have fun.
UPS Score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 10/10 + Standing Ovation
Read the PostTip: Music for Skiing Alone
Read an interesting discussion which originated from this post on the wonderful Snowheads.
P.S. When I set out to write this, I logged onto WordPress and look what post I found on top of the “Freshly Pressed” section. Isn’t life funny?