Colbert: Relax, it’s Aspen |

Colbert: Relax, it’s Aspen

Happy New Year, Aspen.

I’m not writing my obligatory New Year column to go over my resolutions for 2017, because let’s be real, no one ever follows through on those.

I could write about 2016 and the crazy year it was. Like, how I found myself moving from Steamboat Springs and starting new in Aspen. But, while I couldn’t be happier with how that move turned out, like most I’m ready to put ‘16 behind me.

So, let’s talk about the present, and let’s talk about snowboarding. While the sport is still relatively new to me (it’s barely been a year since I painfully discovered I ride goofy), it’s quickly become such an important part of my life.

Aspen has this unbelievable ability to let loose and enjoy the moment, which is probably a byproduct of the beer flowing like wine here. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and worrying about the future. Living in the present is a skill I’ve never had.

But when I get on a snowboard, so much of the past disappears, and the future has no consequence. I’m sure it’s like this for many people — the euphoric feeling of reality’s escape fueling each run, each heart-thumping line.

Everyone has a different reason for why they ride or ski. Maybe it’s the simplicity, the fun, the camaraderie of being with your friends in the mountains. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush, easily found on Aspen’s steep slopes.

For me, it’s the transformative feeling of becoming someone else. I’m not very good at snowboarding, and I’ve never exceled at extreme sports. I’ve never been able to put thoughts of the past and future in the desk drawer and forget about them.

But, with snowboarding, it’s different. It’s therapeutic. It’s an activity that reaches into my core and tries to draw out a different side of me, the side so many Aspenites show on a daily basis.

Maybe that can be my goal for the next 12 months: to finally learn to let loose, enjoy the moment, and become a real Aspenite. I feel it’s something I can actually accomplish, considering all I’ll need to do is go snowboarding a lot more.

So, I’m not going to say goodbye to 2016, and I’m not going to welcome in 2017. I’m just going to put on my boots, grab my board and hop on the gondola, as that’s what we do.

We relax, because it’s Aspen, and there is no point in worrying about anything else.

Austin Colbert is the sports editor for The Aspen Times. Reach him at