I am a timid wader, and why that came to mind in the middle of a ski run was a puzzle at first. Then I stopped and watched the riders and shredders whiz by me in their zippy colors disappearing around a bend, and I realized that groomers are just rivers of snow forced into a mountainside by machines. The more crowded the run the more I seek solace at the edges and this first day of the season there were few runs and lots of giddy gilders. I was wading timidly again, that’s why I was thinking about fishing. I worry about forces upstream that might push against me.
After realizing my timidity streak was translating into less fun on the mountain I pushed back into the stream. The river holds more danger than the slope, but neither deserves the power to undermine my joy. The current of the stream is more predictable than snowboarders from Texas. I’ve been plowed over twice (in my five years of skiing), not something I wish to experience again, with a ski pole busted in two as the energy that hit me continued cluelessly down slope. That created my tendency to obsess about what gravity was shoving downhill at me. With the strongest current on the slope at the middle, I hid out where the flow was less packed. But I’m tired of wading on skis. It is time to take center stream and give up the anxiety of what could happen. My super power should not be extreme capacity to worry.
New cleats, better polarized glasses, and an attitude adjustment improved my wading this summer. I stepped deeper to reach the pockets and placed more trust in my balance to roll with the wiggle of the rocks. I have never taken a swim in my waders and hope to keep it that way. But staying dry cannot come at the expense of casting my fly where the fish hang out. If I can push myself in moving water, surely I can push myself on the hill. I am the moving force and I have the capacity to joyfully ride my own river of snow.
My new super power will be smiling. I can aim for carefree flowing, but my other attribute is being a realist. So caring less and going faster is a good goal.