Do you keep track of your ski days?
Not to sound obsessive-compulsive about this, but I do. Each year I try to get in more ski days than I did the year before, which isn’t always easy. The vagaries of health, weather, personal commitments, and just life in general seem to get in the way.
Not that I’m complaining. I know I ski far more than a lot of people, though there are many who ski a lot more than me. This year I’ve put in 82 days (so far), which matches my personal record from 2012. In 2013 I skied 79 days, in 2011, somewhere in the mid-50’s (it was a pretty bad snow year, ). This is public knowledge. Anyone who follows me on Facebook sees when I log in my days. I use Slopesquad to keep track, and I make it a point to shout about it from the top of a digital mountain: “I just logged a day on the snow at [fill in mountain here].” I figure I’ll post at least five more of these before I’m done for the season, maybe even 6 or 7, so I hope I’m not annoying the hell out of all my friends.
All in all, not bad for someone who doesn’t ski weekends or holidays, and whose skiing is mostly limited to the northeast.
Keeping track requires setting some parameters. What constitutes a ski day, anyway? Does one run count as a day? One hour? Four hours? Five? You also have to decide if it’s only days you’re going to count. There are apps that keep track of all sorts of things: vertical skied, distance, max speed, average speed, ascent, duration, and more. It can make your head swim. No, I haven’t gone down that dark path yet, though I know plenty of people who have.
Skiing isn’t the only thing I monitor. I track the miles I bike in the summer, as well as my speed and distance traveled. Same with swimming — miles, distance, speed.
So what is it about this compulsion to count, to quantify something we’re doing, supposedly for fun? Why do I keep track, anyway? To be honest, I’m not sure. It’s not like I get a certificate or a medal at the end of the season. And I’m certain no one but me even cares. Maybe I just like having a goal. Something to aspire to. And the idea of breaking your own personal record is somehow very appealing.
Setting fitness goals can be a good thing. It can keep you motivated to keep working out. But there’s no doubt that numbers leave out a lot. Whether or not I was having fun, for example, or the way I felt when I stood at the top of a mountain and looked out on a particularly clear day. And maybe it’s silly to even keep track.
But silly or not, I’m sure it’s something I’ll continue to do next year. Who knows — maybe I’ll crack 90.