Getting over the X Games | AspenTimes.com

Getting over the X Games

Alison BerkleyAspen, CO Colorado

I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad the X Games is over.I know I’ve told you guys the story of my past a thousand times about how I used to work at a snowboarding magazine and blah blah blah. I tend to get nostalgic about it and sort of see it as this glamorous life I left behind so I could follow my heart back to the mountains.Well, guess what. That’s a load of crap.The truth is, I sort of hated the whole So. Cal. scene and the people in action sports who were, for the most part, uneducated punks with good balance (that’s the only skill I can think of that unites board sports). Let’s just say being on a staff of six guys at a snowboarding magazine was no place for a little blonde girl from Connecticut who was raised by overeducated intellectuals who argue for the fun of it.They really didn’t like me from the start, especially when I’d do something totally uncool like voice my opinion or use my brain or do something really unfeminine like try to surf with the guys at lunch. It’s not like the mountains where guys love badass chicks who can keep up with them. For the most part, they want Barbie dolls to lie on the beach and look good, sort of like hood ornaments.I remember for a short time my boss and I would go surfing together before work every morning. E.B. was the one guy who had my back because he had those two little things no one else on our staff seemed to have: a brain and a degree in journalism. He’d pick me up every morning at 6:30 and it was the first time in my life I actually looked forward to waking up early. I also loved it because he was helping me learn to surf better. Surfing was always a mystery to me because I am so not a water baby. This is a sport that threw me for a loop, like literally, every time a set wave I didn’t see coming hit me on the head, picked me up and spit me onto the beach like a cherry pit.Speaking of getting hit on the head, my whole little dawn patrol surf sessions with the boss came to an abrupt halt when one of my colleagues assumed that meant we were sleeping together. One day E.B. pulled me into his office and gently told me we couldn’t surf together anymore. It was probably one of the most defining moments of my career at the magazine-no matter what I did, no matter how good of a writer I was or how educated I am or how fast I am on a snowboard, at the end of the day, I’m still just a girl. Somehow that wasn’t a good fit within the whole board sports climate.Whenever the X Games comes to town I am somehow reminded of that reality and that time in my life. Every year, I have some goof up or run-in with someone from my past who reminds me that I was basically a dork trying to party with all the cool kids.Last year I managed to offend an ex-pro snowboarder turned ESPN commentator when I overheard her say, “Do I look fat in this?” and then wrote about it. I thought it was funny and real, especially because she is a beautiful woman who is the farthest thing from fat.She didn’t think it was so funny. Her people called my people and demanded the story be taken down.Even more not funny is my people are no longer my people – they didn’t hire me back to write for them this year. Go figure.I managed to get another job writing a nightlife blog for an action sports web site. I thought that would be super cool since I am such a rock star partier these days. Even better, it meant I wouldn’t have to freeze my butt off standing around the halfpipe at night doing a live web cast of the contests.The assignment had me running around from party to party so that by the end of the weekend I looked like a Christmas tree with several monster sized plastic credentials draped around my neck and dozens of those hospital bracelet things on both wrists. I realize that I was probably a lot better off than the general public who was forced to deal with long lines at Eric’s, a bouncer at New York Pizza (what was up with that?) and Bentley’s running out of Budweiser.There was only one problem: the people at these parties weren’t my friends.So I found myself slumped on some plush white vinyl couch in one VIP lounge after another, drinking my free booze and nibbling on gourmet apps wondering how it is that I am still being thrust into the middle of this scene when I still really don’t feel like I’m a part of it.The best part of being displaced during the X Games was it made me appreciate how much I’ve found my place in Aspen.One night I managed to sneak over to Texas Reds for a few quick hours to catch up with all my friends for karaoke night. The truth is, I was much happier to hang out and listen to my buddy belt out the lyrics to “Because I Get High” by Afroman and live out all his little rock star fantasies than go out and try to be a rock star myself. The best party of all is the one that happens when all these yahoos leave town and it’s just us again.I don’t know if I’m glad the X Games is over, or if I’m just over the X Games.The Princess is at home, recovering. For behind the scenes adventures of the Princess, check out her blog at http://www.aspenprincess.squarespace.com.

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