Editor and co-founder of Earlyups Jeff Brines had a few thoughts regarding what can only be described as “one of the hardest weeks in ski news”. Though an essay like this may be cliche, it felt warranted. Read on and go do something cool this weekend…
The hard truth of what I’m about to write is it most likely won’t alter perception, change behavior or amend habit. I may not have a degree in psychology but from what I’ve learned in my 29 years on the planet, changing routine – changing habit is one of the hardest things a human can attempt to do. Conscious or unconscious, a large majority of our decision making and behavior is based on this funny 5 letter word.
This week we lost three people two of whom I did not know personally but each of them had influenced me in their own way. That’s pretty special – to have never met someone face to face but to have been influenced by them. By all accounts all three were more than just great on-snow talents; they were amazing human beings. This week their lives have been celebrated by nearly every ski and outdoor media outlet. Which has been a silver lining to an awful event.
But here is what has me pounding away at my keyboard – The day of the tragedy, Earlyups received near record traffic. Despite JP’s countless movie segments and edits – including the infamous street segment, Andreas’s multiple head-scratching “how’d he do that” clips and Liz’s infectiously positive and bright contributions, none even came close to the amount of traffic their untimely death created. This really bothered me to the point I wasn’t sure I’d ever post something regarding “death” to the site again. Still, I realize its normal, its habit, to gawk at something like this. It is normal to search for understanding in the wake of shittiness.
As the week ticked on I was continually bothered by the idea that a person’s work – or life – is honored (or paid attention to) more when they are gone than while they are here. So I challenge you – the audience of Earlyups – to alter the habit – to bring forth the same ferocity toward that in which inspires you, in life, as we do when someone passes. Why wait?
It doesn’t have to be an edit, a photo or a piece of writing. It doesn’t have to come from a “pro” or a “known” personality. It doesn’t even need to be in skiing. But the next time you see that guy (or gal) you do or don’t know inspire you – be it effortlessly linking turns down a big face, making quick work of a technical bit of terrain, airing something you’ve looked at for years or a countless number of other acts (in or out of skiing) that make you go “wow” – tell that person. Throw a high five. Hollar from the chair. Share the edit with your friends and family. Stop looking at what was wrong and start looking at what was right. Put your own insecurities aside and watch what it does for the community around you. Get pumped on all the good things and do so unapologetically or without hesitation, and do so while that in which inspires you is right here – in the moment. What do we have to lose?
Time is a funny thing. In the words of Robert Pirsig “We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. ”So with that – Go eek the most you can with the time you’ve got. And go celebrate life and the lives that get you pumped. Today. You really don’t have a second to waste…
Jeff Brines is the co-founder of Earlyups and apologizes for the preachiness of this essay.