I swam growing up and all the way through college, so I didn’t discover fun sports ‘til I turned 25.
With sports, people play hockey, they play football, they play tennis and golf and basketball. You don’t play swimming, you swim. Just like people row and run and cycle. Seems to me that all the sports preceded by play are more overtly playful… more overtly fun.
So 5-years-ago, with the encouragement of my buddy Tucker (pictured), it was time to get into something more playful. Skiing.
I bought $20 ski boots and $40 skis and learned to ski by falling down. Most black diamond runs I’d fall 5 to 10 times; I’d be the guy careening past you on my stomach, having lost my skis and poles on the drop in. I helped perpetuate the ski term for a hilariously bad crash… The Yardsale.
But after awhile, I got decent enough to ski about anything and started backcountry skiing. It quickly became my favorite way to explore, having all the benefits of hiking plus the fun of skiing.
I only realize now why I was so drawn to this way of travel. You see, in swimming, you put in about 360 days of work for 5 days of fun. It’s about the same ratio of work-to-fun in backcountry skiing.
A term has even been defined for it… Type 2 Fun, the type of activity that’s only fun in retrospect.
[Photos from a tour of Split Mountain in the Eastern Sierra, 4/12-4/13]