Back in 1968 I was greatly inspired by the winter Olympics.  That year they were held in France and not too surprisingly one of the big stars was a frenchman.  Dude named Jean Claude.  Won a couple of gold medals in skiing.  He inspired me and I took up skiing.

Black diamonds mark the expert slopes on the ski mountains and after two or three hops down the bunny trail, I decided the black diamonds were more my speed.  I survived.  For the next six or seven years, from first snowfall to Spring melt, you could find me almost every day on some hill, joyously flying on my skis.  As I got better, so did my skis.  Never did get that pair of Lange boots I dreamed of though, or Head 360 skis.  I did have some fancy Saloman bindings though. All of these would be antiques now I’m sure.  But back then…

Apple Hill was the ski area of choice.  Largely because it was only a mile or two from my school.  It was a small place and sometimes I called it Apple Bump.  But I learned a lot about skiing, and other things, there.  Had one heck of a lot of fun.  Broke a pair of skiis doing jumps.  Competed in a race or two.  I got to be good enough to do more than survive the black diamonds.  And skied some places bigger than a bump.  Keystone.  Aspen.  Places like that. But when I went to college my skiing days pretty much ended.  No time.  Or money.  It’s been a long time since I last schussed.  But man was I inspired!

Lots of people will be athletically inspired by the Olympics.  Great careers will be launched by little kids watching the great athletes.  Hobbies will be begun by those thinking it would be fun to try rowing or cycling or something.  And thousands will be inspired to get off the couch and do something.  Anything.  At least for a little while until the Olympic memory fades, and day to day realities once again take over.

But we were inspired.  And we did something.  And so it is part of our personal history.  Skiiing played a big part in my personal history.  What inspires you?  What has become part of your personal history?  Write it down for the future.  So others will know.


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