Couple watching sunset behind my home. Doing it right.
There’s always this group of older guys at my coffee shop. While reading a newspaper today, one older guy across the coffee shop yelled over to the other group of guys and said “Good news! You’re not in the obits today!”
I can’t wait to be an old guy at a coffee shop 🙂
One of these years, I’m going to write my winter recap before summer nears. Once again, it’s almost summer, and I’m just getting around to putting the 2016/2017 winter to bed with a recap.
Despite the lack of snow this year, it was an incredible season for me. Each year, I start with a set of goals, like improving my switch carving or getting better at moguls. And each season, it seems like I check a few off the list and unexpectedly develop some other skills that I hadn’t even thought possible.
So what happened this season?
- Improved switch riding: I’m almost as comfortable on my switch edge as I am my normal edge, even at higher speeds. Overall, this just seems to give me better balance and better dexterity on moguls. I had a huge breakthrough on moguls that I think is due to switch riding. As I negotiated the moguls in Colorado in March, I found myself shifting my weight on my regular edge in ways that felt inspired by my switch edge. It’s hard to describe, but basically I feel like I’m using the familiarity and coordination of certain muscles/manuevers on my regular edge, which really come from my switch riding. It’s almost like I’m about to go switch without actually doing it and just using the movement for a second to shed some speed or make a slight navigational change.
- Improved switch riding (part 2): I can now put my back hand down on the snow while doing switch carves.
- Ollies and jumps: For the past years, I’ve really wanted to get some freestyle basics down, like hitting jumps, taking an air or doing a grab, and landing successfully. I’m still not there since most of my time is spent focusing on carving, but when the conditions aren’t great for carving, I’ve used the time to pop off different features. Learning to ollie better into my jumps has given me a lot more stability in the air. The freestyle highlight of my season was when I found a rolling bump on a steep run at Caberfae. I was riding down with some friends from work when I spotted it and veered over. I popped at the apex and took what felt like a long, yawning air before sticking the landing. I was shocked by how much air time I got and so was my colleague. I tried to find the roller again, but couldn’t find the exact line that I had taken.
- Butters!: I never thought I would be able to start doing butters, but on the last day of the year, with soft slushy-ish snow on the ground, the conditions seemed forgiving and ripe for learning. I started to throw my tip and tail around and began to feel the motions of butters, a la Ryan Knapton (see clip below). I took a few awkward falls and I’m probably throwing my weight more than I need to, but I have a bud of confidence now that will allow me to build on butters next year. Switch riding is huge for butters. It basically gets to the point where you have no idea which edge your on, because you’ve flipped so much, but your legs feel natural because they know how to carve both edges. Without my switch riding, I wouldn’t be able to butter this way at all.
Disclaimer: I am no where near to this level, but I can press my tip and tail now to flip to my other edge.
Although my western trips were busts for snow, I had a great trip with my friend Jennifer and her pals, Dominic and Melanie. The highlight of the trip was actually hanging around Jennifer’s parent’s house and sitting out a bad weather day. We sat around the kitchen table, chatted, and played games. It was a fun time.
And we had one great final day riding together. I had to run to catch a plane, but we decided to wake up early and hit the hill together. It was so much fun to ride down with everyone and watch them make their turns. I love seeing other people ride and carve.
I’m still in awe and humbled by each season I get on the slopes. Each year, brings new progress and often in surprising ways. I never get bored. I never know what to expect. I just know that I’m going to get better and push myself further. And, as always, I get to spend hour upon hours, being outside in the comfy cold, sometimes at night, watching the snow fall on a slow chairlift, before popping off and carving down what always feels like a new, unexplored path.
Next Season Goals
- More butter on my bread: I’m going to work on higher speed and harder snow butters. I’ll probably take some snappy falls, so I need to go to the gym and work on my neck and shoulder muscles. It’ll take some time before I get the coordination and muscle memory to avoid catching my edge while buttering. :\
- Revert Carve (see video below): I gotta learn it. It looks like too much fun. I have a trick in mind that I can build off this one. I haven’t seen anyone do it, so I’m wondering if it’s possible or maybe just not imagined yet.
- More switch please: I want to be able to grab the snow with both hands while carving switch.
I don’t take many photos while I’m snowboarding, but here’s some shots from the season:
See you next year! :) I can’t wait.
Tonight was my first time racing gates. My top time for my two runs was 29.45s. I’m about 5 seconds behind the leader who is on an alpine snowboard (boo! Cheater!) 🙂
Goal: Tie the alpinist and try to get below 24s.
The snow was forgiving tonight so I pushed on my switch (backwards) riding and touched the snow with my left hand while carving for the first time ever. I love the feeling of being ambidextrous on my board. Nights like tonight allow me to progress further.
Next week, it is on! 🏂
Last week, I was further up north in the middle of Michigan helping a small practice go live on our health system’s EMR.
I love getting out of the office and helping with go lives. It takes me back to my days at Allscripts and reminds me that I still have a calmness in the face of a storm that got me through 3 years of implementing EMRs across the country.
I had an experience at this practice that was entirely unexpected. About midweek, someone suggested the idea of a potluck on Friday. Seeing that we had all already clicked pretty well, it wasn’t surprising that the mere suggestion was quickly taken as fact by everyone as we gave previews of what we might bring.
I told everyone about a chip dip we call “Normandin Dip” (recipe below) in my family. This simple concoction of cream cheese, miracle whip, and an ungodly amount of onion always causes my family to hover around the island during Thanksgiving, when it makes its annual appearance. Addictive doesn’t start to describe it.
So on Friday, we all came in with our special dishes creating a smorgasbord of top-notch family recipes.
Venison Stew. Whipped Pumpkin Spice Dip on Graham Cracker Cookies. Creamy Coleslaw. Baked Beans. Cheesy Potatoes. Fresh Tossed Salad. Refried Bean Taco Dip.
One of the doctors started it when he said, “This is so cool! I love that this happened!”
Every few minutes as we ate, talked, and laughed, another person would come to the same realization, as if it wasn’t already said: “This is so awesome! Everyone brought incredible dishes! I love it!”
And so on and so on. It was like an echo chamber of positivity and appreciation. Each time someone acknowledged it, it just crescendoed again and we all nodded and took another bite of something even more delicious because of the good vibe.
Looking back, I can safely say it was my best experience with food. It makes me smile to think back about it.
More proof that thoughts are things and positive ones are contagious.
16oz Cream Cheese
6 – 8 oz of Miracle Whip
One medium-to-large red onion
Soften the cream cheese at room temperature. Chop the onions and add them to the cream cheese. Beat the mixture together with a hand blended or fork (we think getting the juices out of the onions with a hard beat is part of the secret). Add Miracle Whip (at least 6oz) to the desired consistency.
Leave in fridge over night. Serve with Ruffles or similarly strong chips. The dip tends to break them.