Featured A sweet time in life

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Dan Egan, May 12, 2019.

  1. Dan Egan

    Dan Egan Founder of the flow Hall Of Fame Member Instructor

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    This past winter I met four skiers whose perspective about skiing will pull me through the off-season.

    At a showing of the new Warren Miller Film, Bob Dunn was in the audience. Bob was the owner of Boston Hills in Andover Massachusetts from the early 60’s to the late 1980’s. He also operated Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire during that time and was a ski writer for the Boston Globe.

    Bob was surrounded by family at the event, and reminiscing about Boston Hills and how he experimented with grassing skiing and a dry slope for summer skiing.

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    When I asked him what skiing has meant to him, his answer was simple and direct.

    “Skiing is about family and adventure.”

    His response made me reflect on how my life has been shaped through adventures on skis with my family and how my parents made it happen for us.

    At the Women’s World Cup in Killington, Vermont I was waiting by my car at the end of the day, when I noticed a couple of guys scrambling for ski gear in the back of their Subaru. They were gearing up for a few afternoon runs. All of their gear was brand new and they clothing was logoed up so I assumed they were pros of some sort. So I took a step closer and discovered I was staring at Jim Ryan and Marcus Caston from the new Warren Miller film.

    Like a star struck kid, I said, “Hey are you Marcus?”

    “I am,” he replied.

    “Wow, I’m a huge fan, I follow you on Instagram and love your stuff.” I said

    Cool, thanks, what’s your name?” he replied.

    “I’m Dan,” I said. And then I asked, “Hey can I ask you why you started Return of the Turn?”

    And he stated, “I got sick of all the big air, tricks and straight lines. The essence of skiing is turning, right?”

    “I couldn’t agree more.” I said. “I’m from the turning generation, it’s in my blood.”

    “Ya that’s right.” he said. Nice to meet you Marcus, keep up the good work and I shook his hand.

    “The essence of skiing is turning,” what a statement. It made me think of all of the silly debates on how best to turn and how that clouds the reason for essence of the sport.

    Turning is fun, exciting and is part the adventure that Bob Dunn was speaking about.

    A few weeks later I was at the Lake Louise at the FIS World Cup Super G Race. Mikaela Shiffrin had just won.

    In her interview she stated, “The magic of the day was not having any expectations.”

    She hadn’t trained the discipline in months and it was her first Super G race of the season. She simply showed up with the expectation to compete.

    She then said, “She felt one with her equipment that day and her skis were just an extension of her legs and feet.”

    Wow, I let that settle in for a bit. What a way to experience the essence of skiing and being in them moment.

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    Then this spring I had the honor of meeting the queen of moguls Hilary Engisch- Klein who recently was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. In the 1980’s Skiing Magazine called her the best female skier alive. In 1982 she won 8 out of 11 FIS World Cup competitions plus 5 World Pro Mogul Tour.

    A wife, mother of 3 daughters and a cancer survivor, she founded “Kids on Top” foundation for children with serious illness with the goal of having kids have fun, laugh, and find adventure. Activities include of coarse skiing among others.

    She summed up her ski career to me saying, “It was a sweet time in life. The skills I learned traveling and competing prepared me for life. My foundation provides access to the mountains and when a child smiles, I’m reminded of the sweetness.”

    What a powerful reminder of the importance of being in service and providing smiles and memories to children and families.

    When I reflect back on the interactions Bob, Mikaela, Marcus and Hilary, this winter, their comments were deep, rich and connected to mind, body and spirit.

    My take away is this; families seeking winter adventure go skiing and snowboarding and discover the simple pleasure of turning. Some can discover this free of expectations, creating an oneness with themselves others and their surroundings, and that becomes a sweet time in life.
     
  2. Brad J

    Brad J Getting on the lift Skier

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    I skied the plastic mats at Boston Hill in the 80's, Sprayed Pam on ski bottoms for glide, it was like 3/4 speed, balance was very important. I think it only was open one year,
     
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  3. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Thanks for putting all that into words. It is so right...
     
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  4. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Thank you Dan, really do enjoy so many of your perspectives to skiing (and life).

    Our sport is not rocket surgery. At its essence it is moving on a slippery surface, in great places with those we know and are often very close to us. To expect to accomplish more than you are willing to put into the sport would be rather assumptive, but the associated education skiing offers provides an abundance of associated life skills.
     
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  5. slowrider

    slowrider Out on the slopes Skier

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    “I’m from the turning generation, it’s in my blood." This.
     
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  6. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    "There is a season
    Turn, turn
    and time for every purpose under heaven"
     
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  7. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Skiing certainly is a great family activity.

    Some of my most fun moments on snow have been when my daughters come visit us for skiing. They're both little old ladies (in or approaching their 60s), but remain skiing adventurous and we have a lot of laughs. The visits became an annual event after we moved to Breckenridge and hopefully will continue now that we're in Utah.

    I got them started skiing when they were six and seven years old.
     
    TexasStout, Mendieta, 4ster and 4 others like this.
  8. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Having been to and being involved with the Hall of Fame ceremonies for the past few years I have have had a chance to meet and spend time with many of my heroes...including @Dan Egan who is becoming an mentor to @Tricia and myself, not so much in skiing but in business. We have also been spending much time with Dave Ingemie, the former President of SIA and Tom Kelly, the former Communications Director for the U.S. Ski Team, this time spent has been invaluable to us. What has been amazing is how willing all of these people are to share with us their knowledge and experiences. What is really cool about these legends is how humble they are and how willing they are to help and share their knowledge. We are extremely fortunate to get to ski with the likes of a @Bob Salerno, Suzy Chaffee and Alan Shoenberger and what is cool is that these skiers put on their boots one at a time, like you and I.
     
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  9. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Just two dudes talking about their passion for skiing in the parking lot.

    No matter who you are or what you've accomplished, it boils down to the infectious passion for skiing, infecting families, athletes, seniors, and so much more.
     
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  10. David Chan

    David Chan getting after it! Instructor

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    And here I am remembering the first time I skied with Dan Egan and how "star struck" and honored I was to get to ski with him. I was assigned to be his video person for the group he was leading and I just kept thinking to myself, "DON'T SCREW UP" and "NO YARD SALES".

    He was such a down to earth person, great insight, and checked his ego at the door.

    His comments and thoughts about family... YEAH.. Most of my long trips now, we don't get out and ski real hard, It's just about spending time with my Dad, watching him enjoy skiing, and yes Turning. Always trying to make a "perfect turn" even when the safest strongest turn might be a wedge turn, or skidded pivot turn, he seems to want to get that "perfect turn" to the point it's scary to watch.
     
  11. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    That is a great write up @Dan Egan those insights hit home. For me skiing with my daughter makes me feel like passing on something I love to someone I love. What better way for family to know what is in each others heart than by sharing our love of skiing and the mountains.
    Turning is one of the essences of skiing because I think there is a physical side and an esthetic side. Turning is the essence of the physical side. It is the first thing we have to learn and may be the most important tool in our arsenal of skiing knowledge. It's what provides with us pleasure no matter if it is a snow plow turn, a perfect parallel turn, or one that leaves RR Tracks. We may even be defined by our turns, how many times have we watched skiers from the chair and be able to pick out a friend by the way they turn. The turn is one of the things that link the physical side to the esthetic side, watching skiers making turn after turn is as beautiful as any other maneuver of any other sport. I don't know if anyone else likes to follow a skier that is making a string of turns, it is a pleasure to watch and can help you ski better yourself.
    These two things are what hit me closest to home, family and turning my skis. As a senior skier I no longer have expectations just thankful for every day I get on the mountain.
     
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  12. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    A couple years ago I was going with my then new girlfriend to meet a couple who she had known for most of her life. Being an introvert I was very nervous. After the normal uncomfortable small talk Ellen mentioned that I was a skier and so was her friend Mike. After about 15 minutes of passionate discussion between Mike and me about skiing she said that should couldn't believe the passion both of us had for skiing. She said it was we were little kids on Christmas morning.

    Complete strangers, and in many ways opposite personalities who have very little in common but skiing, and yet we always get lost in conversation about it when I see him
     
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  13. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    Just like strangers talking on a chairlift. Always seems to go well.
     
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  14. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yup. You get it.
    In the case that I quoted, the two dudes are @Marcus Caston and @Dan Egan.
    Two dudes who've been in numerous ski movies, or two dudes who met at dinner and find out that they're both skiers are still two dudes who turn into a kid on Christmas when they talk about skiing.
     
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  15. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    About 5 years ago I saw Dan on the hill and at that moment I realized he might have an interesting take on an industry question I had been mulling over. I said hi, he said hi, and I asked my question. He said something like "Funny you should ask, we've been talking about that recently..." and launched into his view and experience to shape an answer. I've seen other snippets of Dan, on stage and off, and they all convey an openness, in spite of an inner quiet. He is willing to give of his time, he is willing to share. And that, that is a sweet time in life.
     
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  16. Alba Adventures

    Alba Adventures Getting on the lift Skier

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    When I asked him what skiing has meant to him, his answer was simple and direct.

    “Skiing is about family and adventure.”

    We agree with this 100%... Thank you Dan for writing this.
     
  17. Alba Adventures

    Alba Adventures Getting on the lift Skier

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    Dan, you are arguably one of the most humble people out there.. Your accomplishments in skiing, producing adventure films and writing - heck - for years we have been big fans of you and John. I hope Marcus realized who he was speaking with when you approached him, considering your foundations and principles are arguably similar, albeit separated by about a generation. We hope to see you in New England sometime and of course to one day get a critique from you on our film work. Our skiing, well we know, we need a ton of work still. We hope to get tips there too.

    Thank you again for this article.
     
    Dan Egan likes this.
  18. MarkP

    MarkP Out on the slopes Skier

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    Add friends to that list to complete it.
     

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