This is your brain on skiing
Back in the sixties in the days of flower power, peace rallies, and expanded consciousness drugs, sex, and rock and roll were the key to universal peace and getting Frodo to Mordor where he could get rid of that pesky ring. (These days I’m into metaphor salad.) I don’t exactly remember those days (anyone who actually remembers the sixties wasn’t there) but I seem to recall people sitting around in filth-encrusted apartments mumbling about how LSD took your mind into new places and how I really ought to try it.
Maybe they were right and maybe I should have, but it just didn’t seem wise to me. Maybe it was all very good on the inside of their heads, but the outside didn’t look too good to me. It seemed to me that LSD and such like did something really bad to people’s judgement. Besides, I had been there before and had seen it before, and wasn’t about to mess up my head.
Which brings me to skiing.
Back when I first came out to the Boston area I had a job at Raytheon as an environmental test technician. There were a number of single young men working there. Three of us, myself and two other technicians, rented a house on Factory Avenue. They were skiers and I was not.
I’m not the observant of chaps. At least I wasn’t back then, and I haven’t noticed that I’ve changed much in that regard. Even so, I was able to notice that my roommates were hobbling around on crutches and babbling about how they eager to get back out skiing.
It didn’t take me long to put together a little syllogism. People who ski break bones. Broken bones are not good for you. They don’t care. They would rather have broken bones than give up skiing. Ergo, skiing does something bad to your head; it is a damaging addiction. Quite wisely, I decided then and there that skiing was not for me. People babble at me about what I am missing and I nod sagely. I know what I’ve missed; I’ve missed a life time of broken bones.
It was a good lesson — and it prepared me for the seventies.
This page was last updated June 1, 2007.