Writing Switch: Keeping it 100 | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: Keeping it 100

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith

Finally receiving your 100-day pin is sort of like your birthday. You feel all special and tingly, and rightfully so, but as soon as the clock strikes midnight you turn back into a pumpkin. With no other goals in life and skiing suddenly reserved only for the weekends (if you feel like it), life in Aspen gets super-duper boring. This week we motivate you to find other activities that will keep you counting to 100 for 365.


BW: The standard by which all other ski town activities are measured, the best part of the 100-day pin is listening to the snarkiness dished by people who, you know, don’t have one.

“Ohh so you’re wearing your pin, huh? Big shot.” “Correct, why aren’t you wearing yours?” “I only got 30 days this year.” “I see.”

Then the excuses start flying. “I was so motivated at the beginning of the season!” they’ll rationalize. I’ve noticed after about two months all but the most enthusiastic abandon their plans when they realize gearing up, hopping on a bus and riding a gondola five or six times a week takes up valuable time that could instead be spent playing video games, laying in bed all day with your significant other or working or whatever. Blah blah blah.

The gloating after year four of 100-day seasons is still as sweet as the first one. Though it would be cool of Aspen Skiing Co. if the winners got a free shot and a beer at an on-mountain restaurant. I think they can afford it, because if you do the math (or trust that I’m capable of dividing 100 by $1,400), each day is worth about $14, depending on how long past the triple-digit mark you care to go.


SB: Being unemployed for 100 days is called offseason. For real adults, a 9-to-5, 365-day-a-year job prevents this glorious-until-the-idle-time-and-lack-of-funds-sucks-out-your-soul experience. But many service-industry workers and young bro-fessionals know that great feeling of turning off your alarm clock indefinitely.

Waking up with nothing but “I need to leave the house” qualifying as a productive day is awesome at first. However, after you’ve beaten “Spider-Man” for the third time and are playing the game like the guy who can beat Mario for NES in 86 seconds, you start to question your own value. What’s the meaning of life? How many consecutive days in a row is it acceptable to eat Totino’s party pizzas? I wonder how many points I have saved up at the dispensary? Is it enough for an eighth?

After converting your change pile to cash for a 30-rack of Extra Gold, you’ll pray for the 100th day to come because the couch is starting to give you bed sores. So good luck to the recently unemployed. Happy offseason.


BW: It’s really hard for me to advocate going sober for 100 days, or even 100 hours — especially while writing this half-buzzed. But it’s the straw I drew so here we go. First, you have to be lenient with your definition of “sober.” If you drink a six pack of PBR, for example, are you drunk? Sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean refraining entirely — but that choice is yours. If you start getting the shakes, maybe it’s OK to take a quick shot of brown liquor to help wean yourself off the sauce. Using a nicotine patch or your little sister’s Juul doesn’t count when you’re trying to quit smoking, so why would this be any different?

My buddy took a break for a week and cleansed on kale and chia-seed smoothies for breakfast. He says he feels great and refreshed, but I’d argue a fair compromise is a screwdriver or mimosa. Orange juice is very healthy.

Treat yourself and your friends to a rager with the $1,500 you saved (not to mention eliminating drunken online shopping purchases) at the conclusion of your three-month sabbatical.


SB: First off, I have no concept of how long it takes to grow your hair out but let’s just pretend like 100 days is long enough to go full Denver yoga instructor. Combining a grossly unkempt beard and greasy top knot for three-plus months may get you an in with your budtender but won’t do you any favors if you’re trying to come off as a credible human being. Nothing says “I’m not using my degree” like some bro growth.

You don’t have to dress like a hipster for this challenge but don’t all clothes count as ironic if your facial hair says hipster? So learn how to handle a hairstyle and download the best Chainsmokers album (if there actually is one) for the 100-day bro growth challenge.


SB: This is a legitimate thing. I know, I saw it on Instagram. People exchange their poles for paddles and hit the river every chance they can get. I like floating as much as the next river beer but there is some rough water. Try buying a duckie that’s not self-bailing and then taking it through real rapids. It’s fun until you have to stop every 15 minutes to dump out the water. Also, kind of hard to drink beer when you’re not sure whether it’s full or full of river water.

Make sure you have a place to dry out all of your gear that isn’t your car because you don’t want it rife with river musk and turning into a petri dish. If you can get through 100 days without baptizing your phone, put it on the Gram.


BW: In the best shape of my life since a sedentary, ranch dressing-filled lifestyle in the Midwest wrecked my physique, I once decided 100 days of lapping Smuggler Mountain Road would be the perfect carryover athletic goal from the winter to warmer months.

Three days of that and I was hobbling around like Fred Sanford after faking a heart attack. I felt a twinge of sympathy for the skier weekend warriors as my marathon mission was quickly abandoned.

I couldn’t stand the people who ran up the mountain, checking calories on their Apple Watches, or the mountain bikers with unbuckled helmets. Hey Brett, you don’t wear them because they’re flattering, and also that’s laughing a little too close in the face of irony.

Like trolling people in the gondola, playing little games along the route can help pass the time in case you accidentally didn’t get high enough to enjoy exercising before leaving the house. I often like to greet everyone descending the trail, offering an affirmative nod to some or a full-throated “hello!” and exaggerated arm wave to others.

If I have guests visiting, we’ll play “Who’s an Aspen Mom or Just an Au Pair?” Nobody ever wins because nobody ever knows.

The most dangerous contest involves seeing how far down a gated driveway you can get before lasers start shooting out of the robotic doorbell.


SB: Sick of Jessica and her overachieving at Pure Barre or yoga or whatever workout class you attend? Trying to rise on the leaderboard definitely not publicly posted to guilt you into returning? Well, try the 100-day workout routine. It’s like P90X but without the inherent air of superiority. (I’m just assuming people still do that workout, but I’m also assuming people still do Tae Bo, so who knows.) Classes also help you avoid that awkward period at the gym when you’re not really sure which machine to use next because you already did the ones you know how to use.

“Yeah, the reverse incline deadlift. Gotta work those … quads?”

We’ve all signed up for a gym membership or bought some form of exercise equipment that sounded like a good idea but gets used about as much as the word supererogatory. (It means excessive but that seems like an excessive way to say excessive.) Put on those leggings or yoga pants, which are different things, and head to the gym to get in shape or even as an excuse to get out of the office. F— Jessica.


BW: Sorry, you’re on your own (literally).

sbeckwith@aspentimes.com bwelch@aspentimes.com