Colbert: Call me Jerry
As I slid down Aztec — again — Thursday afternoon, Aspen Mountain’s steep, “icy” run continuing to get the best of me, I became a bit fed up with myself.
In less than two months, the best ski racers in the world will make Aztec look like a bunny hill when Aspen hosts the World Cup Finals. I, clearly, don’t belong in that same category. My cold, bruised backside can attest to that.
Now, I’m not saying I need to be at a World Cup level. Which, considering I never will be, is a good thing. All I want is to fit in.
I’ve come a long way since moving to Steamboat Springs last winter. Heck, I’ve come a long way since moving to Aspen in August. I can now tackle runs on my snowboard I could only have dreamed of a year ago.
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But, considering I’m 29 and spent the first 27 years of my life exclusively living in Kansas, I’m still a flatlander by nature. I can confidently say I’m no Jerry, but I could probably pass as Jerry’s cousin on most days.
I’ve had some gaper-like moments, like when the toe strap on my binding disappeared on the gondola ride up; or my affinity for accidently running over little girls (this has only happened twice, and thankfully it’s been a long time since the last incident); or, my ski patrol fiasco while hiking Highland Bowl with local pro Gretchen Bleiler.
What I’m getting at is it takes a long time to go from “Kansas Jerry” to being a true Aspenite, the ones who can rip down Ajax, icy or not, without going Superman after catching an edge. I’ve done that a few times, as well.
But, considering I can in fact make it down Aztec, at least mostly upright, and didn’t have too much trouble with the bowl, I must say I’m slowly getting up to speed on the mountain life. The mountains have always been in my heart — I’ve yearned to live in them as long as I knew what they were — but they aren’t necessarily in my blood, like those raised here.
Nonetheless, I’m willing to take the lumps, the laughs and the long days of being a Jerry to one day find my place as a mountain man. I don’t have any children, nor do I believe I’ll be having children any time soon, but if that day does come, I’m hoping by embarrassing myself today, I’ll be able to teach them how to not be a Jerry tomorrow.
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Many of the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially from the midvalley up, are far from ready and it’s important that people stay off of them despite having cabin fever.