As many of you know, I am by no means what you would call, an “adrenaline junky” or “an idiot bent on self destruction”, but it seems that a certain amount of masochistic risk taking must be involved if one is to become a good skier. Just a few days ago atop Whistler ski resort, I was faced with a decision that I believe will affect the rest of my skiing career. The choices concerning my decision on whether or not to attempt a double-black diamond were as follows: 1. To heed my primal sense of self-preservation and establish myself as a platinum member of the “survival of the fittest club". (i.e. One cannot be fit if he is not alive) or 2. Heed my other cave-man desire to impress the female kind of my species, wooing them to myself by via impressive stunts, have them bear my babies and foster miniature versions of myself in order to abate a feeling of self-worthlessness and bolster my ego. Despite the fact that the only person I was skiing with was a fifty year-old man, I still felt the call of a man, yes, the call to go full fledged into the face of senseless danger. Thus, I stood hundreds of meters above the tiny specks of skiers below armed only with my neon purple and green, 1970’s, 195cm Elan skis, with straight edges as dull as a spatula, wondering how in blazes I would descend this rock speckled sea of deceivingly innocent looking snow, down back into the land of the living. The feeling is similar to that one feels when standing atop a 50ft bridge contemplating the meaning of jumping off into the water below—the feeling that these moments will define the rest of your life, and one bad move will mess everything up. But one hour later when I got to the bottom of that bad boy, I realize why I like skiing so much. It’s the same reason I like hitching, jumping off tall scary things (only under peer pressure of course), and talking to my sister-in-law; because I have a death wish written on my forehead (I love you candie!). Well actually, I do it because in those times one can feel life—it becomes a tangible reality of which none is wasted, it is something un-tame and unsafe. It breaks all logic and nursery rhymes we have been taught to uphold; it is a risk.
In other news, I have officially achieved the status of “white trash”. I am pleased to announce that I now live out of a trailer, and in order to live up to the stereo type, I also walk around in a wife beater, boxers, and carry around a can of beer as if it were my unborn child. I have even learned to ask my neighbors if they have any road kill I could have for dinner—despite my valiant attempts, a road-kill dinner has yet to be achieved.
One of my greatest joys so far in Canada has been biking to and from school. It’s actually quite ridiculous because no one knows how to treat a biker. When I ride on the road I get honked at even if there are no other cars on the two lane road. Either that, or what Michel Moor describes as “the friendliest people in the world” when referring to Canadians, (even on bible school campus Michel Moor is quoted more than the Bible and C.S. Lewis combined. I’m beginning to think that maybe there should be a Michel Moor Bible with his words in red—Canadians would appreciate that) give me a drive-by lecture, which consists of something like the following: “SIDE Waaaaaaaaalk!!!” Or a drive-by hint: they go out of the way to splash me by driving straight through a mud puddle right next to me—definitely below the belt. But when I go on side walks, other pedestrians treat me like some roaring military tank charging through at top speeds destroying everything as I pass. Children hide behind parents, parents behind telephone poles, adults will step into the bushes to let me pass. Other bikers will even stop, pick up their bikes, move to the side of the sidewalk, and wait for my tank to go though. It actually makes me self-conscious; do I have a scary face when I bike? Do I look like I’m about to steal a purse or small children? My friends here think I’m it some kind of macho man for biking 15 minutes to school. The concept is as foreign to them as busses, geography, tan-lines, and warm climates.