To me, free skiing is an escape. Its a place where my only confinement is how far I am willing to go. Its freedom. Its a place where I can funnel all of my attention into each and every precious moment. And as each moment slips away, I know that I was there. I was present in that moment. I was living in that moment. And we share these moments with those around us. We approach strangers to tell them nice run, ask for a tip or two, etc. These experiences create tightly knit communities, such as the one I am writing to, of individuals who seek these moments together. These are moments I wouldn't trade for anything. Then the day ends and this coveted feeling slips away. I must reenter this so called real world of responsibility, stress, and anxiety.
This weekend I entered into a USASA comp just to get some experience and see what its all about. What I quickly realized was the die hard competitors aren't the same as me. During the rail jam, the sun was out, is was warm and slushy, there was music playing; it was an awesome place to be. Yet everyone kept to themselves. Obviously it was a competition and there were a lot of out of towners, but there was no fun, no vibe, no "nice run man!". I always believed that free skiing was a group sport. We are all there for each other. We support each other, we help each other, and we congratulate each other. Yet I felt alienated among these "elite" skiers. This made me wonder; does this sport mean the same to these people as it does to me? Is it something they love or something their parents pay for?
So what does skiing mean to you?