My favorite posts on social media involve friends sharing their passions, particularly those of an artistic, outdoorsy, athletic, or adventurous nature. Kindred spirits exploring and engaging both the world around us and ourselves, each of us doing so in our own special way. None of us able to adequately describe what drives us. But the drive needs no explanation because we share it.
One month ago, I did not think this would be possible. I gave up. Late season Tuckerman Ravine turns were not going to happen. But inspiration struck and I had a goal. One more ski day. July turns. Something I had not experienced since 2011 due to two back to back poor snow years. I started hiking to test my legs. And I discovered that despite poor health, fatigue, and locomotion issues, I was still very capable of hiking. I determined that I would not be denied.
I’ve skied Tuckerman Ravine in June and July many times. Sometimes because it was there. And other times because it was still there. But this year, I didn’t do it just because it was there. I did it because I Love It.
For three out of four runs, I was the only person in Tuckerman Ravine. I had one of New England’s finest natural areas all to myself. I was the only person in the eastern United States that was skiing. The only one. My own paradise for my own turns, experiencing something that no other person was experiencing at that moment.
“This is going to hurt.”
Foreboding feelings of pain were strong going into this weekend. I am in the worst shape of my life. An honest self assessment suggested I could get the job done but only at the cost of several days of pain. But even in the worst shape of my life, I’m still more capable than I give myself credit for and I’ll need to remember that as I start rebuilding my body and, perhaps more importantly, the rest of my life.