Ski season is rapidly approaching, and while there’s no shortage of fitness classes and online workout plans devoted to getting you in the “best ski shape of your life,” a life of skiing is so much more than the physical act. It is also necessary to develop personal, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
The Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Aprés-Skier will take you on a seven-week spiritual journey as you develop the habits necessary to be the best aprés-skier you can be!
- Habit 2: Begin With The End of The Season In Mind
- Habit 3: Priorities - Putting First Things First
- Habit 4: Think Win/Win and Make Friends
- Habit 5: Communication - Understand First, Then Be Understood
- Habit 7: Sharpen The Skis
Habit 1: Be Pro-Active
Someone smart once said, “To be successful in life, surround yourself with successful individuals.” Via osmosis or magic, becoming casual acquaintances with successful people can help one acquire the same skills, experience, ambition, and intellectual ability of the successful types. Well good news, the same holds true in the world of skiing.
If you want to be a successful skier, hang out with the best skiers.
Who are the best skiers? Professional skiers, of course! No, I’m not talking about careers that require skiing, such as, Deer Valley Ski Instructors, Little Cottonwood Ski Patrollers, or Utah Avalanche Center Forecasters. No, I’m talking about the professional skiers that we see in Ski Magazine, Warren Miller movies and on social media. You know, Pros!
Simply hanging out and skiing with Pros is the best way to become a better skier both on-, and off-the-hill. I am here to teach you how to implement the proper strategies to identify, interact with, and potentially befriend your very own Pro!
Why Be Pro-Active?
As skiers, we are always striving to be the best. Unfortunately, skiing is hard and there are many obstacles that obstruct us from fulfilling our personal legend and becoming world famous skiers. Being Pro-Active gives you instant social status in the skiing community. With enough street cred, you could one day become a Ski Influencer, which is a lot like being a Pro, but better, because you get a lot of the same perks as Pros, and don’t have to train for competitions or risk your life to keep your sponsors happy. Eventually, you could maintain enough influence that you can avoid skiing entirely.
How To Become Pro-Active
Now that we have established the benefits of being Pro-Active, it’s time to put together a game plan for the upcoming aprés-ski conditioning season.
Step 1: Social Media Research:
Be extremely active on Instagram and other social media channels. Make sure to follow all of the Pros. This will give you a 100% candid, unfiltered, insight into their glamorous lifestyles.
Keep mental notes about where your favorite Pros have been up to in the off-season. It is your responsibility to know the following:
- Do they surf or wakesurf?
- Their favorite kind of Kettle Chips
- To what extent they love summer, but are so ready to post photos of skiing
- Which species of trout they caught most recently
Thanks to the miracle of Insta-stories we can now see what Pros are up to every minute of every day. Watching a few minutes of stories per Pro per day is a sure-fire way to seem relatable in potential future interactions. Take note of the following:
- What Pros put in their smoothies every morning
- Knee surgery rehab progress
- Names of Pro’s dogs, cats, and pet rats
Make sure to comment on every social media photo, no matter how uninsightful the comment. It’s important to get your name, or better yet, Insta-handle out there. With persistency, they may one day “like” your comment or respond with a heartfelt emoji.
Feel free to DM them and arrange a day for you to ski together. Make sure to clearly state your skiing abilities (black diamonds, cliffs, backflips), offer to buy them lunch. Pros don’t get creeped out at all by this. And always ask for shoutouts, subs, mentions and retweets on various social media outlets. It’s what friends do all the time!
Step 2: Be Pro-Gressive:
If you live in an area with a larger population of Pros, it’s important to figure out where they hang out. Statistically speaking, the most common places to spot Pros in the off-season are hot springs, Alaskan fishing boats, yoga studios, the West Slabs and Burning Man.
Although they ski professionally, most have off-season jobs that pay them actual money. Figure out where they work and repeatedly drive by real slow while subtly attempting to catch their attention, or just go in and order a Pumpkin Spice Chai from them. Don’t let them know your being there was intentional. If there’s one thing I know, Pros can spook easily.
Another Pro-Active strategy is to find an insider that can keep you up to date with the Pro scene. This can be a filmer, photographer, or a family member of a Pro. Becoming friends with the insider can lend you immediate credibility with Pros, as well as gain you access to exclusive events. Again, don’t waste too much time attempting to develop a bond with the insider, your priority is always the Pro. No one gets better at skiing because they spend all day with a Pro’s brother. Remember the motto: Pros before bros
Step 3: Make the Most of Ski Movie Premiere Season:
Make no mistake, the best opportunity to be Pro-Active has always been, and will always be, Ski Movie Premiere Season. It’s the highest concentration of Pros-per-capita of any point in human history.
All of the elements are there to be Pro-Active. Pros are just as stoked as you about the upcoming season. While their main reason for attending an event is aprés-ski training, they are also looking to make future best friends and ski partners. They definitely don’t mind if you interrupt conversations with starry-eyed members of the opposite sex to ask them questions about their surf trip to Mexico or how delicious Taco Tuesday looked last night. They’re Pros, that is why they get paid the big bucks.
My Six Pack of Pro-Active Events This Apres-Ski Season
9/19: The Teton Gravity Research SLC Premiere of “Rogue Elements” at Red Butte. U of U.
Bring your a-game, because this is the real deal. Some of the biggest Pros in the industry will be there. This venue is outdoors on a warm summer evening, next to a college campus, and it’s BYOB. There will be plenty of alcohol and single guys and girls looking for ski partners for the upcoming season. This would be one hell of an opportunity to meet the guy or girl of your dreams, but do not get distracted. You are there to talk to Pros and try to find the afterparty. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 9/10 9/23: Level 1 SLC Premiere of “Habit” and Big Picture’s “Lite Years” at The Complex. SLC.
This is hands down one of the best events to train for the next time an aprés-ski session leads to you dancing in ski boots past last call. It’s a big night and a great time to make friends with Pros. It’s also the first event that takes place at a bar. A good strategy would be to pregame at home and bar-bike to the venue. I hope you’ve been saving your tips all summer, because the best way to make friends with Pros is to buy them shots. Pros love shots. And they will love you for buying them shots. If anyone remembers anything in the morning. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 8/10
9/26: Good Company World Premiere of “Guest List” at the Jim Santy Auditorium. Park City.
Park CIty’s own Good Company is changing up the formula this season and will host their own screening of “Guest List” at the Jim Santy Auditorium, followed by the can't-miss-afterparty of ski movie premiere season on Main Street. This event is where all the Pro-Active training pays off. An afterparty with the Pro skiers, Pro filmers, and Pro-ducers of the film on a Tuesday night in September? You won't find a better place to be Pro-Active, just pray you can get on the… Guest List. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 10/10
9/30 & 10/7: The Locals Pro Sale. PC/SLC.
Thinking out of the box a little, the Locals Pro Sale is an ideal place to be Pro-Active. Trailers carry used ski gear from city-to-city, selling discounted ski gear, outerwear and more. Here’s the best part, the gear was formerly owned and used by Pros! Here’s your chance to own part of skiing’s history. It’s equivalent to buying game-used LeBron jerseys for a few dollars. You might be able to make friends with Pros if you buy all of their stuff. Owning ski gear from a Pro is a great way to look (and smell) exactly like a Pro, which pretty much means you shred. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 6/10 10/13: Warren Miller World Premiere (and free lift tickets) at Abravanel Hall. SLC.
Let’s face it, Warren Miller is the reason we are all skiers. It’s the reason ski movies, and thus ski movie premieres, exist today. The sustained commercial success of Warren Miller movies is the reason we have Pros. Plus, you get free lift tickets just for showing up! The Pros, the ones with the amazing hair from the ski magazines, will be out in full force for this event. There will be an afterparty somewhere in Salt Lake City too. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 7/10 11/4: SLC Shred Fest 2017 at Liberty Park. SLC.
Last but definitely not least, is the SLC Shred Fest. The second annual winter kickoff party includes a rail jam, lumberjack games, and more. There will be Pros everywhere: ski Pros, snowboard Pros, lumberjack Pros, and all of them will have beards and flannels. So make sure you do your research in advance. While awesome, wasting your time hanging out with lumberjack Pros won’t make you a better skier. Pro-Active Pro-tential: 7/10
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