Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 223

cold is a broad enough description for a chilly house or an average winter morning but after hitting negative twenty-five fahrenheit in the middle of the afternoon, my frosted beard and icicles in my nose were telling me that this was a new low. there needs to be a word worse than cold. worse than freezing. still, the sun shone bright. i was standing three quarters up the mountain at the rail jam comp.

four people were offered rare and relatively new volunteer positions this winter. one of my friends, the event's coordinator, asked if i wanted to be one cause she knew my need. the company gives the volunteers a free ski pass if you commit to working twelve of the scheduled events over the course of the next four months as an events assistant. i had no other way to afford snowboarding frequently and wasn't even close to being able to spend fourteen hundred dollars on my own ski pass. not even close.

today was the first event. a rail and box competition on the hill. after getting to the hill at daybreak and setting up and performing registration in the lodge, the four assistants and coordinator rode up the lift with our boards to get to the park. we stood around for about an hour or so while the twenty four boarders and skiers did their best tricks and were judged. once, i happened to look down into the distant valley and town to notice a tiny trail of black coal cars sliding through town. the train.

the air up here was sharp. the sky was clear. the temperature was worse than cold. still, one of the finnish guys and i stood there and laughed. we're getting a free pass to help run snowboarding events. and free lunch.

this is ultimate and i'm really thankful and blessed to have been provided for in this huge way. i'm blown away with the way things have worked out over the past few months and especially how they've been guided and presented since leaving to work summer camp in may.

we had a break for about an hour before we had to set up the awards ceremony so i pulled a book from my backpack and went to the window seats in the cafe. that's the same cafe that i mentioned last week was in the massive hotel on the hill i got to stay in.

i watched a mom coaxing her little girl that couldn't have been more than four years old. they were both on skis and the kid was taken by the ice and gravity from her awkward penguin shuffle to a sudden, nervous slide. they both ended up disappearing down the hill to the right. i wondered how she ended up doing. inside, there were parents coaching their kids behind me giving them advice and encouragement on their turns and runs. they're serious here.

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