Slap in the face |

Slap in the face

Joel Stonington

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN I was cruising down International on my teles Tuesday morning, just about to hit up Zaugg when I bit it, big-time.After scraping the snow out of my goggles I realized my ski wasn’t attached and much of one of my relatively new G3 Targa bindings was gone. I immediately started feeling sorry for myself. I couldn’t believe I my new equipment had bit the dust so quickly. And beyond that, I was having some serious re-entry burns following a sweet week off in California. … I wasn’t psyched about going back to work. With something of a pout, I set off down the mountain holding a ski and attempting to hold my own with only one ski on. I made my way up to Gene Reardon’s and then over to Ruthie’s to stumble/ski down to A-1 in order to download.I felt entirely justified downloading. I’m no Bode, especially on teles. Plus, it was cold and my legs were tired. And yes, I was feeling a little whiny. I hopped on the lift and congratulated myself on getting there, then settled in for the ride down the mountain.The first guy I passed who was on his way up only had one leg. It was like a slap in the face. I smiled and nodded. Second guy on the lift, a few chairs behind the first, had one leg. It was like a sucker punch. As I looked down A-1 at all the guys coming up, some were partially paralyzed and many only had one leg. Nearly every single guy on the way up to the top of one was on only one ski. Luckily I realized that it wasn’t me who was the biggest wuss in the world, but all the guys on the way up were among the biggest badasses in the world.