Words by Darryl Hunt
There are many things in this world that I love, have loved, and will love, yet very few things that remain a constant though out all that life throws at you. While many things that are worth loving change with the times, there is something to be said about certain love affairs with that which never changes. Sure, you may find yourself a nice person to partner up with and if things were to get stagnant the spark will die, yet, too much change and you find yourself wondering what you see in the person to remain loyal. Even something as beautiful and pleasing as the sport of skiing changes over time (to a point) and many people have fallen in and out of love with the sport over the years. There is one love in my life though that will remain by my side from now until I die. I am of course talking about gravity.
In years past, I used to imagine a universe where our laws of physics were different and gravity had the ability to change in strength, not so different from the weather we experience on Earth. I would fantasise of going skiing during a low gravity period and the options it would open in the size of jumps and cliffs I could hit, the tricks it would allow me to try, and heighten the felling of weightlessness while skiing down an open field of untracked powder. Inevitably though, my thoughts would then turn to the negative effects of such a world and the mystique was lost. The thought of hitting a 150ft cliff, only to have gravity unexpectedly strengthen while mid air and being hurled at the landing at an unnaturally fast speed, resulting in who knows what kind of injuries, or having to hike up a mountain with what would feel like giant boulders attached to my feet doesn't sound like a good time. Luckily though, this is our universe, and gravity is one of the few things we can count on in this world that will never change.
Without gravity, mountains would not form into the rugged, steep sided beauties that they are, just as rain and snow would not fall from the sky. Most importantly though, downhill skiing would be non existent without the wonder that is gravity. Weak enough to allow us to climb uphill without over exhausting ourselves, yet strong enough to pull us down at a more than adequate pace to get a thrill and even give a little scare. I have loved many things, and will love many more, but not even the love towards a loyal dog can compare to my eternal love affair with that which we call gravity. Next fall when you click into your skis for the first time and that warm feeling flows over you, think about what makes it all possible, and embrace the love for what allows such an amazing sport to exist. Love gravity.