Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Journey

   My boss sent me this P&G commercial for the Sochi Olympics with the question/statement, "This must have been you as a kid?" (He's one of the people who are more inclined to be inspired—or at least amused by—the extra-curriculars I tackle, rather than writing me off as insane. Which is nice. Especially for a boss.)
   But, I digress. Back to the ad: a lot of sports are represented in it, but this one is the most awesome (duh):
   I could not love this ad more. It has real heart and tells a great story. I wish it were the story of my childhood, but instead it is the story of the most recent five years of my life. Okay, so I'm not actually flying through the air in a halfpipe when I'm out riding. I think the window of opportunity on pushing the limits to THAT level may actually have passed, especially considering that I only get to ride a few days per year. 
   But the point is that I FEEL that overwhelming, triumphant, choking-back-tears kind of feeling when I'm off the lift, strapping my back foot in, balanced on my board overlooking fresh powder on the slopes, then suddenly take off, riding free and fast... and it suddenly occurs to me that I am surfing on a f*cking mountain. Something that, prior to three years ago, I never even thought about, much less thought about trying myself. And to go from thinking to trying to doing is a leap in snowboarding. The leaning curve is steep. I was black & blue & swollen all over for weeks. But... it is worth every bump, every fall, every bruise. This ad brings that to life so well.
   And of course I agree with the last part especially. Not just for the lesson about falling, but also for the knowledge that my Mom has always believed in me. At times I've wished that my parents had been more athletic, and had introduced me to more sports when I was very young. And then I think that I probably wasn't ready for them at the time. I wasn't the plucky, fearless kiddo... I was the quiet, artistic explorer of the corners of my own imagination. And my parents had enough faith in me and my creative talents to encourage me, provide me with art extra-curriculars, and to actually believe I could make it in this field. They did the same for me with art that the moms in this video did with sports. They were my cheerleaders, and celebrated my successes and helped me through my struggles.
   I got the same lessons on a different subject, and now have the skills to barrel head-first into sports like a child, taking my lumps and charging ahead. I'm living a second childhood in a way (and certainly don't feel even half my age). Youth is wasted on the young, I tells ya!
   So, for all that and much more... Thank you, Mom. And Dad. :)