Off Season Obsession
Cassi Clark, 1998
I painfully drag myself out of my warm down bed hours
before my slumbering roommate twitches awake.
Bundled in winter fleece to fight fall’s promising
chill I step out into crisp post-rain pre-sunrise air.
An LTD bus passes spewing exhaust, I smile thinking
of that pleasant smell from many seasons of team skiing.
In the computer lab, I surf snow reports and skiing
stats, dreaming of carved turns, counting the hours
till I can ski again: 1462ish. 2 months. I try to stop thinking
as I walk to a coffee shop, but inside the smell of cocoa awakes
my obsession. Avoiding homework, past Powder issues promise
a great season. It was. This year’s Farmer’s Almanac promises
a winter as good as when the Columbia River froze over. Skiing
powder in Oregon!!! One can only hope. Back outside the air
teases of snow. Excitement surges my body, 1460ish hours!!
Two months till the rain turns to snow and the mountains awake
with alpine junkies. Clouds keep heat in, I sigh, but thinking
back, the last two weeks have been clear and cool. I think
of Colorado’s clear skies and snowy winter ground. The promise
of what could be overwhelms me. I want to tell everyone, to awake
in them my predictive excitement about this season’s skiing
we are about to be blessed with. Only 1459ish hours!!
In aerobics, I turn that energy to squat energy, pulling air
with my hands, resisting pushing my butt out, to a tuck getting air
over imaginary cliffs. I took the class for ski conditioning. I think
it’s working. I am mentally and physically ready. Just 1458ish hours!
Home at last my roommate and I tune our skis, reminiscing and promising
to ski at least 100 days this year. We put ‘em on in the living room and ski
to Blizzard of OZ. The fumes of wax and sounds of sharpening awakening
race day memories. We talke for hours about our craziest runs, staying awake
till 4:00. Tucking mogul fields, Velcro flops in NW mung, and big (10 feet) air,
flinging ourselves off cliffs, powder turns through trees. I want to go skiing!!!
After graduation we want to live the endless winter. But I think
this year will be great in the Cascades; we’ll be skiing. And the FA promises
face shots and epic skiing. I read once, that a man said he spent more hours
obsessing about skiing, than sex. Skiing only ruled his mind till noon. I think
it’s now about 6:00am again!! And he calls himself obsessed! Outside, air
wet and cold, I dream leaves are snowdrifts. 1456ish hours!!