It took me several minutes just to sit up in bed this morning. I didn't mind. I actually smiled a little bit. Every inch ached. My feet, my back, my knees, shoulders etc. I stood with my cup of warm coffee looking out the single window of my dreary hospital-like dorm room and reflected. Yesterday was day 1 of a new season; a new beginning. It was just hours ago I stood legs shaking, back sweating, face burning, and smile gleaming upon a white mountain. I read a text from my lady friend that said "It was so nice to finally see you smiling for once".
Mental health is really tricky to talk about and really hard to explain. Some days are spent convincing myself it's worth it to get up and live my life. Some days I look in the mirror and I don't even recognize myself. Every day the same thing: wake up, work, struggle, suffer, and pretend everything is okay so nobody worries about you. It's really debilitating to give life your all when you know at the end of the day you will still wonder why you go on and why you wake up every morning. Luckily I was reminded of what it's like to be alive yesterday.
I've always tried to pinpoint what it is about skiing, especially park skiing, that seems to be what drives me. What motivates me. What grounds me. What reminds me of who Jack is. Is it the freedom? Is it the adrenaline? I'm not quite sure. But whatever it is, it puts me back in touch with who I am. It makes me want to elevate everyone around me. It makes me want to help people who are struggling. It makes me want to share laughs and fist bumps with total strangers.
When we bring positivity and inclusion and passion and energy into our skiing communities, the outcome is most beautiful. We have the power to build each other up and help each other out. Its not about your gear or who you hang out with or what tricks you can do. It all boils down to the attitude that you bring into the community. Sometimes all you need to have a good time is a smile and a positive attitude. So yeah. I smiled yesterday. It's been a really long time since I've been able to say that. I felt like I was once again in touch with who I am. Hell, my pseudo-Canadian accent was coming back.
TL:DR I went skiing and it reminded me why I ski and how sometimes just the right attitude makes all the difference.