This past week we all spent time to be thankful. Here in America, there is so much to be thankful for, it is hard to pinpoint one thing. However, here in Colorado there is something we can all be thankful for, and that is the chance to ski.
December is around the corner, snow has been falling steadily in the mountains the last two months, and the ski season is poised to take off. All of our favorite resorts have opened up for the season, we have shaken off the dust from our skis, and the rust from our bodies. For those of us who have been on the slopes already, the feeling is coming back, and the joy that skiing brings has been revived. That first day back, those other year activities don’t seem to add up. A bike ride, a jog, or a day on the golf course still does not quite make you feel the same as tearing down a mountain covered in snow on wood boards. Since skiing is so special it is even more important to be thankful for it this year.
In America, the richest country on earth, there are still great inequities, and many people cannot enjoy the day on the slopes, this is the first reason to be thankful for skiing. In America you can go to a ski sale and watch someone spend thousands of dollars on new gear and not blink. On the walk to the car with your new merchandise you may witness a homeless person trying to scrap together change just for a fast food burger. For those of us who love to ski, we welcome the colder weather and snow storms. However, there are those who live right here in Colorado with us who when they feel winter’s chill, or hear of another snow storm headed our way, feel quite different. For people like this, their thoughts don’t go immediately to knee deep powder runs, but rather; hopes that they can get into the shelter that night, or at least find another blanket if they have to sleep on the street again. For this reason we can be thankful for skiing.
When one of your biggest concerns is how much fresh snow will be up there this weekend, you really have nothing to worry about at all. If you can afford just one day of skiing this entire year, you have plenty to be thankful for: thankful because there are far too many people in this country that are not able to even consider one day of pleasure, or one day of enjoyment. Their lives are a constant battle and struggle just to keep a roof over their head, food on the table, and the bills payed. There are others who would love just to be able to struggle for these things but cannot. This is why we must be so thankful for skiing.
Because you can ski, you can use that opportunity to pay your thanks forward. When you are up at the top of Breckenridge, looking out at the beauty below, you can find the peace to address these issues. To look deeply at the issues, to clearly accept your privilege and opportunity to be here enjoying this moment, to be thankful for all you have. The next step would be to use the time reflecting on the mountain to think about what you are going to do about creating change, to think about what you are going to do with your privilege and opportunity. Each ones answer to this question will be unique, however; it will be nice when more people take time to improve others lives with the opportunity and privileges they have. It may take time, but for now, those of us who love to ski can simply say thanks for the opportunity.