The irony about the greatest run of my life is this: I'm not even the one who skied it. And that's important for me. You see, I spent most of the first 30 years of my life being a selfish person. Life was about skiing the deepest powder under the bluest skies and hucking the biggest cliffs in the gnarliest mountains. It was about that feeling I got, that pure bliss that can only come from the perfect moment. And I so rarely got to experience those moments. That's why I made their pursuit the focus of my adult life. How is it then that the greatest run of my life is one that wasn't skied by me?
It's simple and true and it all hit me like a ton of bricks as I watched my best friend Brandon carve perfect turns down a wind sculpted, wide open face in Iceland. He made 5 turns, just 5. And with those 5 turns he changed my life. As I watched him carve down a face that he had just earned every single vertical foot of a few things became apparent.
First. I had never truly watched someone ski or ride a huge face in person. Never. I've watched pro skiers do it in ski movies my entire life, but seeing it in person was a whole new level of experience. The grandness of the mountain and the beauty of nature all slightly enhanced by the creative expression of a sentient being. It was like watching a moment of creation. It can't be captured and it will never happen again. It exists in its own perfection in one fleeting moment in space and time.
Second. My friend is not a snowboarder, he is an artist. Give him a canvas that is large enough and he will paint you a fucking Mona Lisa. Watching Brandon carve down that face I realized what a beautiful creative genius exists within my friend that I thought I had known for many years. The way he used the wind-lip that had formed in the middle of the slope was nothing short of brilliant; each turn spraying snow off the top before carving back into the crest. He rode with a smoothness that I have never seen before and hope I have the privilege to witness again.
Finally. Watching Brandon ride the greatest run of my life, one thing became very clear: I want to do this every single day for the rest of my natural born life. I realized that at it's purest. At it's best. Riding down a mountain is not about the selfish gain we get. Nor is it about the glory that we feel when our friends high five us or we re-watch what we did on film. At it's best, riding down a mountain is a way of communicating to the world that anything is possible.