I hope everyone who is Irish (or pretends to be Irish once a year!) enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day yesterday. I have a good deal of Irish in me, so while I can be proud of my heritage all year long, I really make it count every March 17th. This year I celebrated by taking the day off… to ski. Of course après-ski involved some Guinness.
I was able to head up to Vermont Monday night with a friend of mine, in order to get a full day of skiing and riding in on Tuesday. I left a sick baby at home with my wife; so I while I battled strong feelings of guilt the whole time, I knew that the little ones were in good hands with her for one night. She knows how crucial skiing is to my well-being, and how badly I need to get more days on the mountain this season.
We had a great day at Stratton. The conditions were typical winter in New England– they changed every hour throughout the day. We woke up to rain, which stopped by the time we took our first run. The fog was so thick on the top half of the mountain that you couldn’t see beyond the chairlift in front of you.
This made for some interesting runs on the uneven snow surface. The snow itself was really nice, except for some sticky patches halfway down the mountain. Nothing keeps you on your toes like the prospect of abruptly slowing down without warning when you’re going about 45 MPH. It’s kind of like riding an escalator that stops and starts randomly, only more fun!
The fog didn’t lift until we finished for the day, although there were times when the sun peeked out. On our last run, we got pelted with hail! For those of you not lucky enough to experience skiing in hail, it’s like getting hit with a bunch of BB guns while trying not to crash since you’re moving at a high rate of speed. The day ended with a snowstorm to kick off the drive home… followed by clear skies, and wind that pushed cars partly into the other lanes of the highway.
Some people might call me crazy– the fact that I had such a great day despite the “interesting” weather conditions, all while operating on less sleep than normal. To me, “crazy” is wishing away the winter, just to welcome in rain and mud season. I realize I won’t make a lot of friends in Southern New England by talking like this, but I hate to break it to you: the end of winter means that it will still be cold. We’ll just have rain instead of snow. Maybe we’ll get a few teaser warm days mixed in, you never know.
I will admit that I’m looking forward to getting back on the mountain bike, and playing with the kids in the yard. I signed my almost 5 and 7 year olds up for lacrosse, and I’m volunteering as a coach. The season starts at the end of March, although I’m afraid to see what the conditions of the fields are. I really want to keep the racquetball going, but my schedule at work makes it tough to be consistent with the other guys I play with.
All in all, I’m happy enough with my efforts to exercise more and get in shape. I felt great even after skiing hard for 20 runs yesterday; but it’s not easy carving out the time to work out in this life that I lead. I think things will get better as our baby gets a bit older, and as the weather warms up. My wife will run outside more and I will mountain bike. Life goes by too fast to have regrets or make excuses though, so get out there and make it happen! 🙂