January 5, 2012
Somewhere in my twenties I realized I would never be able to repay all that my dad had given me. I don't just mean money; I mean all the ways he was there for my brother and me. I talked about that with my dad one day, and he told me his philosophy on the matter: he expected me to repay him by giving no less than the same effort to my own (future) children.
I was thinking of that conversation recently, on the first, when I skied with my dad on his birthday. He'd asked to ski with all of us, so my son was with us, plus my brother and his son, putting three generations of us on the hill at the same time. It's taken a lot of effort to get to the point where my boy can actually ski with us—and it is skiing now, not just waiting or coaching or pleading (don't think about it; just do it!).
We all had a great time, and I felt, in that moment, a sudden and unexpectedly profound sense of satisfaction that I was indeed making good on my dad's bargain—in ways connected to skiing and also in ways beyond.
I realize this year that my site works a bit in the same way. Skiing has given a lot to me. Financially, okay not so much, but in terms of health and peace of mind and just pure unadulterated joy, the sport has been very, very good to me, and SierraDescents has been not just my way of sharing that, but trying also to give some of it back to others.
So my resolution this year is to be more active in promoting that mission. For starters, I'm going to start up a series of tutorials on skiing with kids, starting with the very first steps for the teeny-tiny, and getting all the way to wherever my son and I happen to be in the ever-changing present. I'm also going to do the same with backcountry skiing, creating something a little more formal for those who want to dive in and give it a try.
And finally, I think I'm going to talk a little more about Life. Something else I realized recently was that my site reaches a lot of people who are struggling with many of the same questions that I've struggled with over the years (and still do!). Please believe me when I say that I do not in the least have things all figured out, nor would I hold myself up as some sort of role model to emulate...but I have picked up a few tools over the years, and a few ideas that have been useful to me. Maybe they would be useful to you, too.
So: we'll see how it goes. I wish you a very Happy New Year. Snow or not, I'm sure we're all in store for a great many more adventures. And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!