One Year & Eleven Months

After a four-night hiatus from work, it's day one of getting back into the evening groove. I started writing this post Sunday evening, right after I returned home from Boston Mills ski resort. I walked through the front door, popped a pot of food on the stove, stripped down out of my winter layers, and started typing. Now, it's time to finish; a full and complete post.

Prior to Sunday, it had been well over a year since I had last gone snowboarding. One year, and eleven months, to be exact; at least, according to the most recent lift ticket hanging off my boarding pants. Looking back prior to Sunday, I knew I hadn't gone at all in 2017, but I didn't quite realise the full extent of all the inter-workings that I'll now lay out before you.

There are several parts of this that are worth writing home about. One, is that is the longest time I have ever gone without riding, since purchasing my own board back in 2008. I'll expand on this after I tell you about item numero dos.

Every boarder can probably relate to how that first run of the season feels. No matter how experienced you are, if it's been a little while, there's an inexplicable nervousness to shaking the dust off. It took me a few runs to really get back into my groove. Well, a few runs, and a tall draft beer.

Aside from the encounter with some overly-friendly 15-year old boys, it was a solid afternoon. The reason I'm relaying this to you, is because in the greater picture, it's the perfect example of a small-scale life lesson--it's never too late to go back. Similar to riding a bike, no matter how much time passes, it's a skill you can always return to. Sure, it might be more difficult to get the hang of being back in the saddle again, but it's only going to get harder the longer you wait.

This goes hand-in-hand with part one. Now, let's rewind a decade, back to the 2000's. Born and raised in flat-land, Ohio, winter sports isn't the most prominent weekend activity amongst the locals. A good friend of mine, the Asian kid I eluded to in my very first post, pulled me along and gave me opportunities through my earlier years to get out on the slopes. Together, we started a snowboarding club at our school. NvS grew a small following, but really, it was just an excuse for a clowder of us to go snowboarding/skiing together, and our club meetings were opportunities to plan our next outing on company time. What it actually did for me personally, though, was give me my first taste at brand management and launching something from the ground up. Clearly, I still have much to learn...

From then on out, snowboarding became a part of my life. It gave me something to look forward to, even on silver training weekends throughout the time I lived in Colorado. And guess how long I lived in Colorado? Yep--one year, and eleven months. My skills grew exponentially on the side of the Rocky's, and after I returned home, was something I continued to participate in through the rest of my college years.  

Starting my full-time career, I was excited to live by Cuyahoga National Park. Located in Peninsula, OH., the park was not only a go-to for hiking, but is also home to Boston Mills/Brandywine. Being exactly a 32 minute drive from my door, it was the closest I had ever lived to a place where I could board. I was pumped. 

I moved to Canal Fulton in the middle of January 2016. Thinking back, I know I made at least two trips up that season, but I can not recall if the trip on Valentine's Day was before or after an instructory excursion made that same winter. Regardless, the message is the same.

My last visible lift ticket was from February 14, 2016. I started working at my current employer one week prior.

Throughout my time here, I have slowly stopped doing the things I love. I stopped boarding, and that slowly turned to fewer trips up to the National Park. I still hit up the towpath on a daily basis, but the last time I went to Wayne National Forest was in winter of 2015. I explicitly remember picking (unknowingly), the night of the first frost to camp out at the trail head prior to a morning hike. That is absolutely a night I will remember.

I had to start planning long trail runs,  which slowed down to only one double-digit walk up there since getting my dog in the middle of 2016. Actually, looking back, since June of 2017 I can guarantee you I have not been up to the Park. My first time in well over 6 months up there, was Sunday, if I even went up there at all, last year. I truly can not recall.

I stopped writing. I stopped painting. I stopped lifting, since my transfer in January of last year. I stopped snowboarding. I stopped carving pumpkins, my favorite part about my favorite time of year. I stopped doing aerial. I stopped going to a studio to practice yoga, which in turn led to a decline in my overall practice. I stopped hanging out with friends, and going out to eat, and having mid-morning coffee breaks, and social Friday night's. 

I stopped doing the things that make me, me. I stopped doing the things that I love.

No wonder I'm miserable, here.

However, the purpose of this post isn't to be negative, or to say woe-is-me. This post is another step on the path to my own personal wholeness. This post is to say, it's never too late.

It's eye opening to me to see how my life has changed so drastically, without me being aware of it. The little changes happened without incident. The seemingly insignificant decisions, the daily choices of prioritising work performance over personal joys. The sacrifices of managing my workouts in my lunch breaks, because before work I need to take care of my dog, and after work I'm ready for bed. As my lunch breaks became fewer and farther in-between, so did my one escape. And now, here I am. 

So, here's to a fresh start. I have one year and eleven month's worth of thoughts to undo, and skills to make up for. And while the first step is realisation, the next is action.

This post is step one. And step two? I've signed up for a freestyle snowboarding workshop in February. I'm in contact with a studio to get my 200-hr RYT, and I'm registered for a marathon at the end of April.

So hang in here with me; I'll certainly keep you updated. And hopefully, one year and eleven months from now, I'll have a book full of stories to tell.