One of my favorite things is my journal of every single one of my ski days since 2014.
That year I happened upon a stack of empty, old notebooks and thought of ways to use them. That same season I had coincidentally started keeping a notepad of some details of my ski days on my iPhone as a way to count just how many days I was able to tally each year. My infinite and boundless brain connected the two and, voila, I started keeping my days in hard copy.
I have diligently kept track of the days, times, places, people and conditions of every one of my ski days since.
Every time I write one, I go back and read one, which acts as a time machine to both the glorious waist deep powder days and the scratchy, icy, sub-zero days alike.
I’ve slapped stickers all over the front and back to spice up the appearance, but the treasures are what live inside.
I’d recommend the exercise for a few reasons:
- It helps me appreciate the good days and the bad days alike. Forgettable or downright miserable ski days are just a part of this experience. If you wanted something with fewer variables, you’d be bowling.
- It helps me keep count. I’m not logging eye-popping ski day totals each year. In fact, I think I topped out in the 40s a few years ago and haven’t sniffed it since, but the log is a good way to measure up these years of my life.
- The book also helps my memory of good spots to ski and how each mountain acts throughout the day. For all of the hills, areas, mountains and resorts, I have time stamped notes on where the goods were good, where the goods were bad and the time of year I skied.
- By listing who I skied with in each of these days, I have a pretty good record of some of the best times of my life, too.
Think this tickles your fancy? Here’s some tips to get you started:
- Buy a good book. The college-ruled composition notebook I use started to fall apart in the last few years. The pages are now paper clipped in there and I have to treat it like the Declaration of Independence so it doesn’t break. Buy a nice bound book with plenty of pages, you won’t regret it.
- Jot down your ideas right away. The entries in which I waited a week to try and conjure the details of a ski day are always more bland and less interesting. Take the 5 minutes that night or the following day to get your thoughts down. Other tip: If you don’t have access to the book, jot a quick iPhone note down to help you remember for later.
- Add stickers and images. I don’t have my journal illustrated with photos, trail maps or stickers, but in retrospect, I think it would be a nice touch. You don’t need to visually chronicle every icy Midwest escapade, but that bluebird view from the top of Grand Targhee of the Grand Tetons? That’ll do.
- Guest entries. This is another idea i have not acted on, but i think it would be fun to have someone else I skied with scribble a line or two in there from time to time. It would be a good change of pace and it would be good to have a fact-checker keep me in my place.