This is an entry in the We Said Go Travel Writing Contest written by Jade Sevelow from America. Thanks for your entry Jade!
As I coughed up the $14 for nachos; Which was an act of desperation in itself, given that I generally shove a vegemite sandwich in my pocket and hope the generic ziplock bag stays intact so the salty, brown, sauce doesn’t ooze out into my snow pants (which I wash only less than occasionally), I looked around at my group of friends and realized we were done for. We were slaves, and our mistress was the snow-covered mountain. We were so irrevocably in love with her we would spend our last dollars on food (or beer) just so we could get a few more hours with her that day. We would spend countless hours navigating lift lines with makeshift winter sport enthusiasts, who seemed to have randomly ended up in the line, don’t know how they got there, or what to do now that they are there, just to get a piece of our lover’s sweet action.
This was a horrid anomaly. But love is blind, and despite the realization of our pathetic obsession, we will continue to do the things that under normal circumstances, a person would despise. Let me explain.
1. We, as a general population are a bunch of broke twenty-somethings who pride ourselves on living as cheap as possible. Couch surfing, sharing rooms with multiple people and living in storage closets seem like normal living conditions to us. For us, only grocery shopping on the first Monday of the month is crucial, because that’s customer appreciation day and our entire purchase is an extra 10% off. This goes for every aspect of our lives, except snowboarding and skiing. We will hand over fist-fulls of cash and rack up hundreds in credit-card debt for season passes, road trip gas, a new board, videos, magazines, and gear. The worst part about it, is that we actually have to work to support this gluttonous habit. So most of us take night jobs in bars, restaurants, liquor stores, or hotels just so our work habits don’t interfere with our shred habits. When we have time to sleep, eat, maintain healthy relationships or call our ever-worried parents, I’m not sure, but somehow we manage.
2. We, left on our own wouldn’t blink an eye at sleeping past 2p.m. under the right circumstances. We are lazy human beings who would rather sift through the fridge, find nothing, and head back to bed, rather than get up and make a meal at the appropriate time of day. However, since we’ve met our snowy misses we are constantly ripped from our powdery dreamland by our phone alarms or our angry ride demanding we be ready in 10 or we’ll be left behind. This is our life now. We are slaves to first chair if there’s even been the slightest snow over night, and we feel as though we’ve wasted the day if we’re not up the hill by 10. Granted, there are those weekends and holidays that we avoid like the plague; and on those days we are happy to lay in bed as long as we deem necessary or until someone calls and says it’s happy hour and drinks are cheap.
3. We would prefer our snowy misses to be our only misses (or Mr. in my case). We would generally rather sleep with our brand new board next to us than someone else’s warm body. It’s just how we are. We don’t have time to maintain relationships because we’re either riding, eating, drinking or sleeping. Occasionally we find someone that can ride, eat, drink and sleep on the same schedule as us, but we can forget dating someone who’s just learning to ride or can’t keep up with the drinking schedule. It is what it is, and I can bet there’s more than one of us who’s picked up a snuggle buddy at night and in the morning politely asked if they would just show themselves out when they wake up, because we have a date with the real misses on the mountain. Snowboarders generally do not make good boyfriends; snowboards however, never talk back.
4. Most humans with half a brain know to stay out of bad weather or freezing conditions. Snowboarders as a population may have knocked that sense out the last time we hit our favorite cliff drop or rail. Every morning we drag our sorry selves out of bed into sometimes below freezing, windy, and absolute disgusting weather. We put on layer after layer of thermal underwear and gear. We endure frozen snot all over our faces and gloves, the occasional frostbite, and snow down our pants. Then there’s the ultimate setback, when our fingers stop working and we have to paw our bindings off by making swiping motions at our ratchets and hope for the best. I remember as a kid getting snow in my pants or up my sleeves and the day was OVER. Now snow in the pants either means it was an epic powder day, I was trying something new, or I was too hot in all of my gear and needed to regulate my body temperature. This is what our lives have come to; we don’t even bother with the weatherman anymore.
We are a different breed of people. We will empty our wallets for that new gear and eat saltines and bananas all week in exchange. We will wear our under-layers to bed just so we have one less thing to do in the morning. We will endure countless days of nasty weather and countless nights of sleeping alone because we sleep on a couch or mattress in someone’s living room. We don’t bother taking day jobs so we don’t have to call in “sick” when there’s a powder day or bluebird day in the park. We punish our bodies each day then say we’ll take the next day off. Except the next day is better than the last and all of a sudden we’ve ridden 7 days in a row and our knees look like grapefruits. We’re inexplicable and we kind of like it that way. Our snowy lover understands and that’s all that matters to us.
About the Author: Jade Sevelow – I grew up in Chicago and found a need for adventure at an early age. After completing my degree in animal behavior, I traveled around finding interesting jobs as I went; a marine biology assistant in Eilat, Israel, a dolphin trainer in San Diego, California, a ski bum in Banff, Alberta, and a horse trainer in Boulder, Colorado and southern Oregon. I am a photographer and have a passion for telling stories. This year I hope to be able to tell stories about the need for clean water in developing countries.