Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

114 messages Options
123456 ... 12
Harvey Harvey
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

OK I read them, but did zone out a bit in #2.

What I get is that every choice has a plus and a minus, not too much more than that.

Sure "growing up" has some advantages.

I'm doing everything I can to look grown up, but I am faking it to a large extent.  I think my wife knows this. It's kind of a middle strategy. Ask me the day I die if I made the right choice. Right now I don't know.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
x10003q x10003q
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
MC2 5678F589 wrote
The essence of the article seemed to be "these Peter Pans need to grow the fuck up and get real jobs with insurance and have families", instead of "everyone has problems, and maybe people who choose to live in the mountains aren't so different from people who live anywhere else."

Strip away the psychobabble, and it seems like just another "these damn kids need straighten up or they'll be sorry when they're older" story.
I totally disagree with your Peter Pan theory.

The articles are about people who need help to deal with their current situation. The inevitable failure of our bodies, the lack of connections, the lack of money, and still trying to maintain a high risk lifestyle leads to not just physical problems but mental problems. There is a lot of stigma associated with seeking therapy. The writer is not judging. He is just pointing out the type of person who might need help. People can slip into depression and not understand that they are suffering from depression.
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

I just thought it was about "Peter Pans" because the author mentioned that many times and consistently separated people he called "mountain men" for analysis.

And most of what you wrote could apply to... stock traders in NYC or something. The author is trying to describe these "mountain men" in a way that seems to differentiate between them and men in any profession in any location. That just rubs me the wrong way. I don't think men in mountain towns face challenges that men in other towns don't. Everyone can have health problems or lack of connections or lack of money or a gradual decline from a high risk lifestyle.

Also, this is what the author of those pieces looks like:



And this is how he describes his work:
My personal myth is rooted in the deep West's romantic ideal of the self-made man who knows the value and power of self-reliance fed by the rigors of nature and the resources of community. I am informed and inspired by our individual stories be they told through narrative, dream, or music. My archetypal stock is carved out of the twisted ancient tree standing on a wind-blown ridge silently witnessing the collective's notion of reality acted out in daily life.
He just sounds like a quirky eccentric who wants this "mountain man" genre to be a niche business for him. I think, in attempting to build this business, he's trying too hard to act as if the problems of a "mountain man" are greater than the problems of a non-mountain man. Or as if these "mountain men" are any less likely to seek treatment as a garbage man in NYC.

If he wanted to write about men in general, fine, but the constant talk of "Peter Pans" and sentences like this are just dumb (people who don't live in outdoor towns "become consumed with self focus" or "lose their bearings" all the time):

Outdoor towns tend to be different from other places. It is a difficult thing to indulge the self without becoming consumed by self-focus;  even harder not to lose one’s bearings or pursue a “lifestyle” that leaves one narrower and emotionally stunted
raisingarizona raisingarizona
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

Why are you so defensive Matt?

Yes, the midlife crisis can hit anyone and it’s not a phenomenon that affects only mountain town men but it’s something the author has experience with.

I can attest that what he is writing about is a common thing in mountain towns. You’re still young but for a lot of guys that dedicate their lives to the lifestyle find the lifestyle starts lacking substance as they go into their Middle Ages, they want something else but making that transition isn’t easy. And alcoholism is practically a culture in western mountain towns. It’ll get ya.
x10003q x10003q
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

In reply to this post by MC2 5678F589
MC2 5678F589 wrote
I just thought it was about "Peter Pans" because the author mentioned that many times and consistently separated people he called "mountain men" for analysis.

And most of what you wrote could apply to... stock traders in NYC or something. The author is trying to describe these "mountain men" in a way that seems to differentiate between them and men in any profession in any location. That just rubs me the wrong way. I don't think men in mountain towns face challenges that men in other towns don't. Everyone can have health problems or lack of connections or lack of money or a gradual decline from a high risk lifestyle.

Also, this is what the author of those pieces looks like:



And this is how he describes his work:
My personal myth is rooted in the deep West's romantic ideal of the self-made man who knows the value and power of self-reliance fed by the rigors of nature and the resources of community. I am informed and inspired by our individual stories be they told through narrative, dream, or music. My archetypal stock is carved out of the twisted ancient tree standing on a wind-blown ridge silently witnessing the collective's notion of reality acted out in daily life.
He just sounds like a quirky eccentric who wants this "mountain man" genre to be a niche business for him. I think, in attempting to build this business, he's trying too hard to act as if the problems of a "mountain man" are greater than the problems of a non-mountain man. Or as if these "mountain men" are any less likely to seek treatment as a garbage man in NYC.

If he wanted to write about men in general, fine, but the constant talk of "Peter Pans" and sentences like this are just dumb (people who don't live in outdoor towns "become consumed with self focus" or "lose their bearings" all the time):

Outdoor towns tend to be different from other places. It is a difficult thing to indulge the self without becoming consumed by self-focus;  even harder not to lose one’s bearings or pursue a “lifestyle” that leaves one narrower and emotionally stunted

There are many more ways to make connections and find jobs in the suburbs and cities. People usually move to cities and the suburbs for jobs first and lifestyle second. People generally move to the mountain towns for lifestyle and then try to make enough money to support the lifestyle.
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

raisingarizona wrote
. You’re still young but for a lot of guys that dedicate their lives to the lifestyle find the lifestyle starts lacking substance as they go into their Middle Ages, they want something else but making that transition isn’t easy. And alcoholism is practically a culture in western mountain towns. It’ll get ya.
I'm 37. I know people in mountain towns, people in cities, and people in the burbs. Lots of people in all of those places are alcoholics. Everyone has issues with "transitions" throughout their lives.

x10003q wrote
. People usually move to cities and the suburbs for jobs first and lifestyle second. People generally move to the mountain towns for lifestyle and then try to make enough money to support the lifestyle.
What about people who move to LA to be an actor or people who move to NY to be on Broadway or people who move to Nashville to be a music star or people who move to Miami Beach for the beach?

I would say that those people are moving for a lifestyle and trying to make that lifestyle work for them (and, like aspiring ski bums, many people flame out after a couple of years of that).

I'm not "defensive", I'm just skeptical that this guy's "mountain towns are different" philosophy is true. I'm making a point in an internet forum. Sorry if that bothers you.
sig sig
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

MC2 5678F589 wrote
x10003q wrote
. People usually move to cities and the suburbs for jobs first and lifestyle second. People generally move to the mountain towns for lifestyle and then try to make enough money to support the lifestyle.
we realize that there are people suffering depression and mid life crises in all walks of life. its not only men , just look at your wives and girlfriends. this story relates to skiers and outdoor enthusiast, which is something we all have in common. I could relate to parts of that dudes life. being a 50 something you wonder how many powder days you have left. its getting harder and harder to put back to back days together. hell I'm probably a blown knee from it all going away. did I agree with everything?  no, but I found it interesting. I certainly don't want to read about some stock broker asshole who made a ton of money and is miserable.

thanks RA, I found the article interesting and introspective
campgottagopee campgottagopee
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

sig wrote
 
we realize that there are people suffering depression and mid life crises in all walks of life. its not only men , just look at your wives and girlfriends. this story relates to skiers and outdoor enthusiast, which is something we all have in common. I could relate to parts of that dudes life. being a 50 something you wonder how many powder days you have left. its getting harder and harder to put back to back days together. hell I'm probably a blown knee from it all going away. did I agree with everything?  no, but I found it interesting. I certainly don't want to read about some stock broker asshole who made a ton of money and is miserable.

thanks RA, I found the article interesting and introspective
exactly

aFor some reason MC (at times) feels we should all interpret things the same way -- not sure why that is
Peter Minde Peter Minde
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

I read all three articles, they were worthwhile.  I like to joke that I've been having a midlife crisis since I was 40.... longer ago than I care to admit.  Skiing is doable, but my knees aren't gonna let me run any more ultras or haul a 65 lb pack on Mt Rainier.

Pre child, my wife and I went skiing 3 weekends out of 4 for years and I raced 7 or 8 times each winter.  Now, 4 races is a big deal and I'm doing more day trips than weekends.  Sometimes I just stop and look around at the trees and the light, even in the days I'm in my local woods.

You can't turn back the clock, but you can try to be the best you can be for the age that you're at.
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Midlife Crisis and Being a Skier

In reply to this post by sig
Ha, but maybe that stockbroker asshole doesn't want to read about some "ski patrol asshole" who lives in paradise but is still miserable.

Agree that the article was meant for people like us, but I'm just (gently) pointing out that it doesn't apply only to us, and the author shouldn't act as if he's stumbled upon the "secret of the mountain man".

My other problem with the article was that it's basically telling "Peter Pans" to "grow up" by getting a stable job with health insurance, and having a family. Not only does this advice sound kinda condescending and wrong (I know plenty of people without stable jobs and without families who live cool, adventurous lives), but it, too, could apply to anyone in any situation ("stop chasing the rock star dream, get a real job and start a family"..."stop living on the beach and working in a bar, get a real job and start a family".. etc.).

What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for someone else. And this guy writes as if there's a "right" or "wrong" way to do life. Yeah, people should try to make good decisions (including taking care of their health and not drinking and driving), but this just seems wrong to me:

And this is the moment when they must return to earth and deal with the consequences of what it means to be a mortal human who knows life cannot be lived by chasing thrills alone.

Rather than midlife being a period when limitations define us, I see it as a golden opportunity to discover a deeper happiness than that delivered solely through high-adrenalin.
People don't need to jump cliffs or ski couloirs for adrenaline. You can get into the "Flow State" by playing music, writing, getting deep into photography, hiking, sex, woodworking, computer programming, or anything else. Remember, the Flow State (Self Actualization, "heaven on earth", the top of the pyramid of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs) is defined like this:

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time.
I'm of the opinion that people should seek Flow in whatever way that makes them happy. It could be anything! I guess the author kind of hints at this in the third part:

I shared with Walt that dreams, reading, and creativity are ways to get past our own convictions. That his challenge is to respect that inner work is as exciting and challenging as “sending it” is on the mountain. In other words the hero's journey, for a man like Walt, is to go beyond where his father could emotionally, to break family cycles. To do so requires that Walt take full responsibility for his life circumstances. There are no excuses for misery.
Agree with the simple notion that, if life isn't working, it is possible to change, but disagree with the notion that change is somehow required for "Peter Pan" "mountain man" "adrenaline-junky" types who are comfortable with their lifestyles. If they are doing fine, let them live their lives.

People start off in their teens and 20s full of piss and vinegar in all places (mountains, cities, suburbs) and they will all slow down eventually. But people generally reach that point on their own. For some, it comes early, right after the itch is scratched ("Okay, I'm never going to make it in Hollywood", "Maybe this Rock Star thing isn't working out"). For others, it doesn't ever come. I know people still living Mountain Lives (Instructors, Patrollers, Raft Guides) in their 60s & 70s. I know Tele skiers in their 80s.

Yes, tragically, the slowing down sometimes comes with a big injury or a DWI conviction or a mental crisis, but for most people, it's just.... Life. Start off in your 20s & 30s jumping cliffs, finish up skiing a groomer with your grandkids, or with your old ski buddies who are now retired.

As I said, I'm planning for a midlife crisis. I know that I don't want to sit in a cubicle for 25 more years, so I'm planning an escape. Maybe after a couple years in Crested Butte or Taos or Fernie or Lake Wanaka, I'll realize that I like the convenience of the suburbs more than I like living in a mountain town and teaching skiing to earn side income. Maybe I'll move to a secondary ski town like Bend, Bozeman, Whitefish, or Durango and get a job at a brewery or some shit.

I'm not upset or defensive at the article, just having a discussion. What I take away from it is that people should constantly check up on their lives and make sure that they are on the path they want to be on. Then, if they aren't, people shouldn't be afraid to change their path, so they are headed towards a future that they are comfortable with. I guess that message wouldn't get as many readers as the "Peter Pans need to grow up" headline and subhead, though.

Sorry for the long post... These kinds of articles are good because they fit right into my constant life checkups. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to live. Only the way that works for the individual.
Reply
123456 ... 12