“Dude” Unto Others

If Mother Nature was going to give us so much snow this year, I decided I would just have to embrace the winter wonderland and have some good outdoor fun. I dusted off my snow pants and headed to the local park for some sledding with my little buddy Henry and his parents. We tumbled and tossed down the hill laughing. Henry had a blast and so did I.

The next day I headed to Ski Sundown in New Hartford, Connecticut, for another frosty escape. Ski Sundown is a MARvelous place to play in the snow while taking in the beauty of the mountains and the outdoors. I happily went alone, because, in addition to being a fantastic place to carve the snow, this heavenly experience combines with the clear blue skies and fresh snow to make it the ideal place to become one with old man winter.

I was not always a master on the snowboard. As a matter of fact, 15 years ago I migrated to snowboarding while vacationing in Aspen, after growing up on skis. While in Aspen I wanted to try something new and dress cool and hip. After getting perfectly outfitted, I joined a beginner class only to have a sixteen-year-old instructor tell me; “Yeah, dude, that sounds right.” It seemed every time I asked a question I got the same standard answer: “Yeah, dude.” To be taught by a sixteen-year-old, that hurt.

Needless to say, I committed myself to that full day of embarrassment to figure out what I should and should not do. By the end of the day, I was up and running like a pro. All my years and discipline of skating went into full swing again, as balance and weight distribution play a big role in snowboarding. By my second day, I could I zip through the mountains. But whatever happened to that instructor? I would see him again on one of the most difficult trails, and called out to him: “Dude, look at me!” He took one look and wiped out. Dude, that must have hurt.