An Ode To An Old Life
Its sort of a shitty feeling, but, its an honest one.
The feeling is fleeting, it doesn't really do more then mark a place in time but it sticks there in your mind, like a knife mark on a counter top.
Its the moment when you realize that you aren't what you used to be, you can't do what you used to do. Not that you don't want to, not that you probably "can't" but, you just aren't built in the same way you used to be. Mentally you are different, physically you are different.
More importantly, your life is different. We can't commit as fully to something, to our sport, to our lifestyle, to our passion.
Work gets in the way, our outside passions get in the way, our "grown up" shit gets in the way.
About two months ago I got to ski for the first time this year. And it sucked. I was terrible. I got winded, my arms hurt, and I was upset.
Because, skiing once was never a thought, two or three times in day? Sure. That seems right. But, finally being able to ski for the first time in late august?
That is some bullshit.
Years ago, the concept of going more then a day or two with out at least sneaking out a slalom run would have been met with an internal laugh, like, "yeah bro, that dumb, strap it on let go"
Shit, its become a hassle to figure out the boat, and the logistics of getting TO the lake, making sure work responsibilities are taken care of....
That is the definition of hell.
Life doesn't always seem to play out like we think it should in our heads, when we are little, or teen agers or college age kids, we envision a life of sex and waterskiing and money and booze (at least thats ours).
We live our dream as we go through life.
Now that time has passed and we are where we are, why are we sacrificing our dreams?
Money. Oh, right. duh.
Some people are cast out of the nest early in life, some in later years, but, eventually it always gets us...how can we make our passion fit around our requirement for life?
Waterskiing is a sport that you have to live, you don't just participate in.
Basketball you can participate in. You get a ball, you go to the park or the gym, shoot some hoops...your playing basketball.
Football, the same, sure...organized with helmets and pads and all that, but the cost is minimal.
Waterskiing? Shit, a boat is what...at least 20 grand for a decent used...70? for a new?
This isn't a dip your toe in and fool around sort of thing, you have to get in hard if you are going to.
Maybe its as simple as something like, waterskiing is a passion and it is your life, but, its so much more to actually DO it. When real life comes around and your income doesn't just go directly to ski stuff, instead it goes to your mortgage and kids and life.
Our sport is not a TV sport, there is no real "tour' where we can tune in on a weekly basis, you have to fully, 100% commit to this sport to really get the full enjoyment out of it, and that doesn't even bring into account of our own participation.
Never the less, watching other people ski is fine. Its fun. Watching Ryan Dodd sky or whomever else is awesome. The best that we have are incredible, but, its not you and me. Well, it may be you. But it isn't me.
I can't go out and ski as much as I used to be able to. The desire is still there, the fire is inside, the thoughts of being better...running the next line length, jumping another 20 feet, making the GOD DAMN WHIRLY BIRD FINALLY, its all there!
But the ability to physically get out and do it, the surrounding life, the surrounding bullshit, effectively kills that dream and it is god damn frustrating.
We love this sport, we love this sport from our core. It sort of defines us, we talk about it at work, we have drinks with friends at the bar and talk about it, we have ideas we have arguments, we have all these things.
But, as you get older, unless you are 100% crazy committed to it, you begin to lose it a bit. This is the issue we deal with as we age.
This is the battle and this is one that I am going to fight. It silly and it means nothing, there will be no glamour shots or pictures in waterski magazine or alliance wakeboard...I'm not going to beat Patrice Martin (never forget) in the senior trick ski challange...but, we do it for our selves, because it feels good to push ourselves and that is hopefully what we never lose.
Pushing ourselves with no outcome that is determined, no outcomes that gets you laid....just doing it beacause we fucking want to. Because it feels good.
Thats what skiing is, no matter what style, but thats what it is. Feel good. Do it. Get better.
We die. But we kicked ass while we were there.