Have you ever sat back in your office / trades ute / classroom - whatever - and said to yourself something along the lines of “I’m going to - *insert ambitious thought here* - this year!” or “I’d love to learn how to - *insert ambitious thoug…”. Anyways… We’ve all looked at something a little extreme or way out of our comfort zone and thought “I wish I could do that” or “That would be f***ing amazing”. But when the thought sinks in a little more, these same little bursts of confidence and adventure shortly get shut down by an overdose of rational thinking, a small plate of reality which is paired beautifully with a generous serving of FEAR.
Will Smith said “The greatest things in life are on the other side of maximum fear”.
This quote slapped me in the face when I first heard it. It pushed me to make some drastic changes in my life and encouraged me to challenge my personal fears. You need to watch the video, it’s a story about how fear cripples you and can hold you back from the best things you’ll ever do! Fear of losing something, fear of the unknown, fear of hurting yourself, or worse, someone else. These are all relevant to trying or experiencing something new.
Now. There are a hell of a lot of people who are scared of trying snow sports. For some it’s simply the thought of falling over that proves to be enough to hold them back from experiencing the magic of snow trips. For others it’s the money, they don’t want to spend the money that is assumed to be involved with a ski trip, so they drop thousands on a trip to Fiji (So they can all sit around a pool… Fun!) There’s also a lot of people that don’t see the point in spending the time trying to learn how to ride, so they prefer boarder crossing in Europe to stand in a 4 hour queue to see a painting a little bigger that a A4 sheet of paper.
And for most people… It’s because they “don’t like the cold”… I’m just going to squash this assumption here and now, yes it’s cold, it’s the f***ing snow! But it’s called f***ing clothes, you get ones made for snow with your rental gear… Put them on… Problem solved. You can always get warmer, throw another layer on or snuggle up to the ratchet park rat you picked up at après… There’s only so naked you can get in public before it becomes weird around little children.
These excuses all stem from some level of concern and fear. Concern around their budget, fear of injury, worried about wasting time, bitching about the cold.
All I'm going to say is, we really need to get over these fears. I was a beach bum, loved singlet and shorts weather and didn't have the slightest idea about the snow for 24 years!
Then, when I was a travel agent, I got myself on a work trip to Queenstown in New Zealand which was operated by a company called Oz Snow Adventures.
I was shitting myself before this trip. I didn't own any warm clothes and I thought I didn't like the cold. I was terrified of stacking it and looking like a moron, everyone was harping on about how expensive Queenstown is and to be honest, I only went on that trip for the bungee jumping and nightlife (Which is amazing). Then what happened..?
I FELL IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SNOWBOARDING! that was 4 years ago. In that time I have developed a passion for snowboarding and every ounce of positivity it brings to my life. Without it, I'd probably be some boring gym junkie, or worse... A junkie haha.
I want to highlight my personal reasoning behind recommending snow holidays to EVERYONE! So now that I’ve vented a little about excuses and fear, here are five reasons why I personally believe everyone should try snow sports.
1. Nature and The Environment:
There’s magic in the mountains. Incredibly beautiful landscapes covered by the sky fighting a jagged horizon, fresh air and the sound of silence only breaking from the wind traveling over tree canopies and mountain peaks. As a generation, we are losing touch with the environment and the beauty of nature. We are so conditioned to skip the add on global warming, or flick past the post about detrimental effects our way of living is having on our planet. We need to make a massive change with our behaviours and start cleaning up the world. I believe spending time out in nature and in resort areas that are heavily focused on maintaining environmental health can open our eyes to the horrible impact we have on this planet. When we are surrounded by beauty and people doing their part to preserve it, we think twice about flicking that cigarette butt or dropping that chip packet. Being exposed to different cultures and environments made me start to consider my actions and I developed good habits from overseas trips that I brought home with me. Hopefully it can influence other first time travellers as well.
2. Friendly Vibes:
There’s something about a ski resort that attracts all the friendly vibes. Everyone is there to have a good time, enjoy the mountains and take in the positive energy of the resort / village / town. I think it might have something to do with the majority of the visitors being city folk. As soon as you take a highly strung, stressed out penguin out of its daily grind of waddling to it’s world of grey, black, pressure and monotony and place them in a gorgeous, vibrant, easy going environment where everyone is smiling, laughing, healthy and happy, it’s enough to make anyone shit themselves from the mitigation of tension. People are just keen to chat and meet new faces, have a drink with strangers and make new friends. More experienced riders are always keen to help the noobs and if you stack it, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by strangers asking if you’re ok or if you need help. It’s just a nice place to be. I definitely prefer that than being in a body image competition with Fabio at a crowded beach where everyone keeps to themselves. Just sayin…
3. Builds Character:
Learning anything can be frustrating, especially when it results in a very sore body the next day. But you get yourself out of bed way earlier than you usually get up on a chilly Sunday morning, put on your gear, head back up the mountain and you persevere. You learn a lot about yourself and learn a lot about patience, resilience and empathy for others. You develop a ‘can do’ attitude and start realising your true limitations, then you push yourself outside your comfort zone and flirt with those limitations and discover your full potential. You take risks and are rewarded with a huge sense of accomplishment when you finally link your first turn, stomp your first landing or even just stand up. There are so many challenges and road blocks and equally as many wins and losses along the way, you really find out what you’re made of when it’s just you versus the mountain. I heard a quote whilst scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and I think about it all the time when I’m trying to progress my riding. “Don’t say - I’m having a tough day… Say - I’m having a character building day” - I have no idea who’s quote it is, but it’s amazing. Get out there and show yourself what you can do!
4. You’re Active / Your Health - Physical & Mental:
I know I just said learning anything is frustrating, but learning to snowboard is HARD. I can’t speak for skiing, but I’m sure there is a similar level of difficulty to it. You will be burning a shit load of calories whilst you’re out there learning, falling then getting back up a million times in a day. And for the more experienced riders, we seek more than just groomed runs, so lots of hiking through knee deep snow for that powder stash or constant twists and pops as we hit rails or go full send off a cliff. There’s a lot of movement and constant bursts of energy, it’s a very, very active day. I’m an advocate for being active and healthy, (and don’t let my other posts related to drugs and partying fool you, I still eat well and train hard - all the insta-famous fitfam models you follow, they get on it just as hard as I do… Trust me!) but I’m also an advocate for balance and happiness. I haven’t said no to a burger/beer combo or a stack of pancakes… Well, ever… I don’t know about you, but I like to eat! If I was to restrict what I was “allowed” to eat because #terrythetrainer has a six pack and said it’s all thanks to a vegan lifestyle … I’d probably f***ing neck up!
With snow sports, you’re literally moving all day, so you can afford to indulge in a cheeky burger or a warm hot chocolate with cream, you’ll probably burn it off by après. But don’t be a fat c**t. Simple.
By the way, for all the couch potatoes, fat folk and lazy Larrys, the level of activity you are exposed to on a ski trip is good for you! Being active is a GOOD thing! I’m not going to get all ‘Personal Trainer’ on you, but for those of you who are reading this thinking “Give me a cocktail by a pool any day of the week”… You’re boring. And if you’re already on the higher end of the scales, you probably want to cut down on the yum yums and start moving your bum bum! ie: Snow Trip!
5. Inspires New Travel Ideas:
All to often I’d hear the same shit every day when I was a travel agent - New York, LA, London, Bali, Thailand, Fiji, LA, Hawaii, Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Hawaii, LA, Fiji, Bali, Thailand, Fiji, LA, Hawaii, Fiji, Bali, Thailand… Pretty annoying right?
I would always suggest something different when asked for my opinion. And by different, I mean I’d always suggest a snow trip. I only ever had one customer say “Okay”. At first the wife sat there saying she had no interest in Japan, didn’t want to travel to a place that didn’t speak english and she thought it would be a dirty 3rd world country (F**kin’ bogans man…). Anyways, I harped on about how beautiful and helpful the Japanese people are and that it is in NO WAY shape or form a 3rd world country. In fact it’s cleaner and better organised than Australia. The husband said “Screw it, I just want something booked” their teenage kids said “please Mum, we love ramen”, so she said “Fine, but if it’s a bad holiday, I’m blaming you!”… Guess what happened… They came back and thanked me for the best trip of their lives! They loved it so much that they told me they were looking at buying their own gear and making Japan an annual thing.
This reason is my personal favourite and the one that I believe is the most important for most people. Travel to new and exciting destinations for a reason so far left field to your usual holiday! It expands your knowledge, opens your eyes to new cultures and builds your character. Plus you tend to have your expectations blown out of the water.
Now, these are MY reasons for recommending a snow trip to EVERYONE! If you have never been to the snow or tried a snow sport, get on it. You’ll only have fun, learn more about yourself and your capabilities, make new friends, travel to new places and be more in touch with nature. You’ll be active and more importantly - You’ll be happy!
So let’s face our fears, and experience the best that life has to offer. You never know if you’ll love something until you try it.
And I’d rather have a life with a few “Oh Well’s” than a life full of “What If’s”!