I'm going to tell you a story.
This event popped back into my head for no reason at all from last season. Last year when I was skiing with a group of 8-10 year olds, (little kids are awesome) and I took them all around the mountain - just having fun with the kids. Keep in mind that these kids are all racers through and through, so when I took them into a small cliff field they were blown away ,and all of them bypassed the massive 5 foot kicker rock except for one. This was Forest. Yes, his name was Forest. So Forest was looking at this rock, obviously intrigued after watching me going off it. In a split second Forest had turned his skis perdendicular and was hauling ass towards out little kicker rock. He overshot completely, drops about 8 feet, landing on his back and losing both his skis. The boy that I saw emerge from the white, soft earth was not the same one I had been skiing with earlier that day. Forest was a very quiet, shy kid - he didnt say much. The first thing I saw on his face, besides the snow stuck to his jacket, was a grin like I've never seen before. I helped him out his skis back on and we continued to finish the day. I had fun, all the kids had fun, so I was stoked on how I just spent my afternoon.
Fast forward to a couple weekends later. I end up being single in the line up and when I sit down on the lift I realise I'm sitting right next to Forest. I start up some casual conversation, asking him how it's going, what he's been up to lately, and all that typical stuff you'd say to a nine year old. He responds with a passion and a personality that I didn't ever think would have existed a couple weeks before when I met the kid. Forest tells me that after much convincing, he talked his parents into letting him drop out of ski racing and ski for fun - to freeski.
Skiing is a form of happiness, and enjoyment. Realize how much fun we have, and how much fun everyone has skiing. Think of how easily it can completely change a little kids life and make him who he'll be in 10 years.
Skiing is an inspiration. This is just a reminder. I hope you all enjoy your up-coming season, I know I sure will.