Tis the season to make snow... (hint to Mother Nature)


Here in Utah the temps continue to drop without any promise of snow. Cold dry systems keep coming through, but no moisture. My prediction of skiing on the 1st of November has turned out to be a just a simpletons wish or dream. I also passed another timeline this week. It’s now been a year since we moved back from Texas.. our first trip was with Christian to drop him off at the MTC and unload a huge moving truck with items we are now using in our little apartment/condo. At the time the leaves were just turning to their bright Fall color and dropping off the trees.

As I reflect on what has transpired in these last 12 months, I still can’t believe how fast it has gone by. I of course thought that I’d for sure have another high power, high paying media job by now… not so. Or that we’d at least be in a house by now, with plenty of room to spread out and have the perfect view of the valley or mountains.. not so. But.. all in all, I can’t complain too much. I didn’t do any yard work this year (which I don’t mind by the way), no snow shoveling this year (Emi is particularly happy about), we reduced our financial overhead substantially… and it’s okay. I kind of like the idea of having less financial stress. We do need a bigger place to live though, especially considering that Christian comes home from his mission in a year. Yet he could sleep on the couch and share a closet with Emi… better rethink that scenario.

One of the ironical things that happened recently was the email from the Brighton ski school asking for a commitment of our full or part-time status fo the up coming season. I have been weighing this in my mind for a couple of months now… do I really want to do it again full-time? The Sports Authority hasn’t offered me a job at any of their stores yet.. which I found out was the goal of the Sniagrab project. All employees hired for Sniagrab are almost automatically hired to go into one of the stores full-time. This I wasn’t incredibly interested in.. but a possible option. The TV station gave me a small raise… this little project is fun, but seems to be going know where fast. In fact, when I mentioned that I’m doing this live morning show in Park City to the local “big” stations asking for an opportunity to apply for their stations, I’m met with the attitude, “hmm, let us know if you get any real experience.. like a station in Idaho Falls or Duluth..” They seem to see the PCTV thing as one notch above a high school class project. But it is fun, and it has helped me keep my skills tuned up.. So anyway, or as the locals say.. “Anyways”.. I have to decide if I’m going to stay at PCTV or do Ski School full-time this year. Tough to decide.. I tell you what happened in a second…

With the Fall colors starting to turn to grey and brown, my mind starts to turn back to ski prep and conditioning. Over the Summer I ran into a fellow ski instructor Lenny who swears he can fix my skiing problems with rollerblading. Now, it has been a long-standing belief among ski instructors that rollerblading is the perfect “prep-season” activity to improve balance, agility and turning. So I agreed to go out with him.

As I pulled my blades out of the closet, I realized that the last time I used these rockets I ended up in the hospital. That was 13 or so years ago. I was pretty good at rollerblading at the time.. or so I thought. That day 13 years ago, for some reason I decided to wear a helmet… which I stopped doing, cuz I was so good.. right? Well good thing I did, 10 minutes into the ride, I took a corner too fast causing my feet to come completely out from under me as I landed on the back of my head, throwing my hands up over my head and slapping the ground…. I woke up with the little boy shaking me asking.. “dude, are you okay?” I felt pain in my wrist and was completely dazed and disoriented. I looked at the kid and realized what had happened.. he told me I had a bad fall and was laying there for a while. Being the tough, never say die personality that I am, I stood up.. thanked the nice young man for his good Samaritan gesture and went on down the trail. As I headed down the path, I realized that I didn’t have a clue where I was.. and my wrist hurt like hell. I remember thinking, if I stay on this path I’ll eventually remember where I parked my car so I could go get help. I didn’t see it, so I turned around and went the other direction until I ended up in a parking lot and found my car. With one hand incapacitated, I drove to the hospital to have my wrist checked out. While in the ER, the doctor informed me that I obviously have a concussion and had broken that little bone on the top of my wrist (I was wearing wrist guards, but they don’t protect the top of your wrist.. just the bottom). She also commented that if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet this fall could have killed me… hmm, I thought, makes sense since my helmet was cracked in half from the back forward. She then asked who drove me there… I told her I did.

Wrong thing to say…

After 20 the minute lecture (or so it seemed), she asked me to call someone to take me home and gave me instructions to care for my wrist, I smiled and thanked her for the help.

So as I was driving home, the dizzy, sick feeling started.. motion sickness from the fall. I made it home and could believe what an adventure that was…….

So now to the present… I realized that these roller blades may not even work right. So I ran my hand across the wheels and voila!! perfect.. they worked. I grabbed my helmet and met Lenny at our designated practice spot. He had extra pads for me to wear which was nice. We started out real slow… I tried to make a couple of turns, one to the right.. one to the left, almost… I was ready.

I picked up a bit of speed and made a turn to the left.. all of a sudden things went into slow motion.. “oh shit” I thought.. I remember this from 13 years ago.. the slo-mo ended with me on my butt.. I sat up, Lenny right behind me yelling “are you alright? I said take it slow..” Being the tough never-say-die personality, I jumped up and tried it again a little slower.. this time I made the turn. So I tried it again.. again… the slo-mo feeling returned. ending with a thud. This time on my side.. I felt another familiar feeling.. my ribs.. at that moment I reflected on how it felt the last time i broke ribs.. yup!? That was the feeling..

I stayed and tried to do this exercise several more times until my side and butt hurt so bad I decided to just head home….. That was 4 days ago.

This is what I found when I got home..

The raspberry from the rollerblading fall

Since then I have also realized that I either cracked a bunch of ribs or broke them. It only hurts when I cough, move or breathe…..

BUT.. my turns are so much better now… right.

One of the ironies this week happen all at about the same time I realized that being a ski instructor was where my head has been for te last year, The Sports Authority called and offered me a job in West Jordan at one of their stores. I thanked them and politely turned it down, explaining that since I hadn’t heard anything.. I had accepted a full-time position at Brighton ski school for the season and will be moving in that direction.

So… Ski school here I come.

We had a meeting this week to learn about the changes to expect for the season also. At the meeting I learned that two of my good friends/brothers at the ski school are battling cancer. WTF!?!? Unbelievable.. Life has a way of sneaking up on you, which is why I’ve learned so much from my buddy Don who was just diagnosed with colon cancer, that life is here for us to enjoy. I have never met anyone who has such a passion for life, family, environment, snow sports… everything. He’s a friend to all and an example to me about what really matters. He has also informed all of us that he’s already beating his cancer… there is no other option.

As I left the ski school meeting re-energized and stoked about the new season to begin, I looked over my shoulder and saw Don playing in the snow with his two boys. Jumping, laughing, throwing snowballs.. living life. I have to say.. Don Gale is and has been one of my hero’s for life. He told me last year about how he couldn’t believe how “we had the greatest jobs.. to be in the snow everyday and teach people about how to have fun”. Hang in there Don.. and thank you for helping me see how lucky we are to live where we live and do what we do…

Yes Don will be teaching full-time as well this year. I hope to learn a few more things about life and skiing from people like Don this ski season. I have come to realize that skiing is more than just going fast… it IS life itself.

I will leave you with some pictures we took on a drive into the Unitas the other day….. this is from the Mirror Lake highway between Kamas and Evanston..

Stream along the way

Upper Provo falls.. notice the ice

More of the falls

View from Bald Mountain pass.. 10,700 feet and cold!

Mirror Lake with Bald Mtn in the background

Mirror Lake.. half of the lake was frozen

Snow expected this week along the Wasatch front.. Colorado and the East coast got theirs this week… now it’s our turn.

Today I feel very rich……