Colbert: Call me Jerry |

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.

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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