It started thirteen years ago when I was living in RI. Thursday afternoon, I drove to NH to visit my brother for an overnight. The plan was for me to meet him at 3:30pm at the ski lodge where he taught skiing. I escaped the city early and arrived about an hour before our designated meeting time. Outside the window where I waited, I watched people skiing down the main slope, riding the chairlift and coming in for hot chocolate. My brother was teaching a Knee Hi lesson and playing on the Magic Carpet with a couple of kids just outside the window.
I had forgotten how much I loved the whole ski scene. It had been way too long since I had skis on my feet. My life had become preoccupied with "have to's" instead of "want to's" and responsiblities instead of passion. Doing what other people expected me to do instead of what I really wanted to do.
That evening over dinner, Jake and I talked about skiing and the fun we used to have when we were younger. He surprised me with a lift ticket and rental equipment for the next day, asked if we could ski together and invited me to stay for the weekend. As we skiied the following day, he told me that the mountain was really busy and looking for fill-in instructors for the weekend. He asked me if I were interested in teaching. I had always been a better skier than he was but had never taught anyone how to ski. He promised he would teach me how to teach a beginner lesson that evening and encouraged me to think about staying to help out.
I cancelled my weekend plans and spent it on skis reconnecting with my passion, connecting with a big group of people who share it with me and then passing my passion on to others. I hadn't had that much fun in a very long time.
Shortly after that weekend, my life transition began. Ultimately, I moved to NH full time and have been here for over 8 years now.
I still teach skiing at that same mountain. This is my 13th season.
I just spent my day off playing in fresh powder with a group of fellow instructors who share my passion. There were not alot of words spoken today, but there were lots of grins, smiles and giggles.
There are no buddies like snow buddies. They get me! They understand my passion! They accept me as I am! They share their time with little or no expectations. And as we all go our separate ways after carving up a mountain, we are grateful for the experience, for the connection we've shared and for helping each other connect to our soul.
Who do you connect with? Where do you go? What do you do to connect with your soul?