Friday, February 13, 2015

Ruts, Routines and Rituals

  During the ski season I get into a routine.  Six days a week I like to head to the ski slopes.  The seventh day is a day of rest.  There are several elements to the routine.   Rise by 8:00 AM,  shower, breakfast, and don the appropriate gear for the anticipated weather.  Of course I will fill my thermos with my special coffee and bag my usual apple fritter for the morning coffee break.  Out the door by 8:50 for a ten minute ride to the slope over the standard route.   Friday and Saturday breaks the routine since tennis is on the agenda for Friday morning followed by skiing in the afternoon.  A double dose of exercise.   With lifts opening at 8:30 AM on Saturday, all the morning activities are the same but shifted an hour earlier.   Although one might think this could feel like getting into a rut, it is not so.   Every day the weather and ski conditions are different.  Therefore, there is always a fresh perspective on the art of skiing.
    And then there are rituals.   It seems that among our geezer group there is a consistent behavior that borders on a ritual.   Each day there is the gathering at the locker area to exchange greetings and discuss events of the day.  Booting up is completed and twosomes, threesomes and such trek out to the base of the ski lift.  As we await the opening of the lift a light banter crackles through the air.   For many of us our morning ritual is to ski the trails in order from green to black diamond in sequence that rarely varies.   Occasionally, one or another of us plays the rebel and breaks that ritual.
    Depending on the conditions and weather, six or seven runs are completed in time for a mid morning coffee break.   Thus the coffee ritual begins.   There are individual idiosyncrasies   I must have my apple fritter and my thermos coffee.  Others eschew any food while some will consume fruit or nuts.   After an appropriate amount of conversation, it is time for the slopes again.   Some will cut out for the day, while others will return for the late morning into the afternoon runs.
   Thursday past I decided to shake up the crew a little bit.  Because the crew has chided me about my ritualistic consumption of an apple fritter each day, I decided to treat them to a doughnut fest.   Maybe, it is just a way of giving back to all these fine folks that have brightened my ski day for many days over the years.  See the photo below.
     I conclude our ski days have routines and rituals.  However, never do I feel we are in a rut.   Routines and rituals bring order but we are still are geezers with a sense of adventure and break out the routines and rituals on occasion.
Left to Right:  Pat, Dick, Ruth, Tom, Andy, Gerry, Roger, Frank, Phil, Larry, and Bob

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