Lessons from the Birthday Tour

This blog entry was first published on the luxury real estate blog May 8th 2008.

blog_birthdayTourThis weekend I went snowboarding. I know most of you who are reading this will say “Snowboarding? It’s May. Ski season was over months ago.” But here in the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed to be able to backcountry ski and snowboard all year long. We even have websites for those of us dedicated to make Turns All Year. I have a split board, a snowboard that splits in two so you can skin up the mountain. It is much better than trying to snowshoe but it has it’s downfalls at times. I have figured out how to cope in powder, but this weekend was my first time out in spring conditions.

I went up with five buddies of which I knew two from teaching backcountry travel courses. The first day was unbelievable. We did a well-traveled tour called the Birthday tour. It was over two passes and some beautiful snow was to be had.

The second day was a whole different story. On the steepest portions of the slope on the way up, I broke right out of the skin track only to careen down the hill losing precious height every time. And this is what I do for fun! I must have done it 25 to 30 times on the way up the hill. My friends were way past me at this point. I was all alone. So what did I do . . . I took even more time. After every step I took a few breaths and figured out what I could do better. I was losing ground but gaining experience in tough times.

By the end of the day I made it to the top of our ski route while my friends went to check out the summit, a few hundred feet higher on poor skiing terrain. I was about an hour behind, but they waited. Very nice.

To make a long story short (I hate it when people say that. It means you are only halfway through) we had an unbelievable ski down. The turns through this area were gorgeous, the snow was just right. I forgot about all my troubles on the way up.

You may ask what this has to do with Luxury Real Estate. I like to take lessons I learn in sports and apply them to other areas of my life and vice-versa. It is a life lesson that we all struggle in hard times. We all struggle, whether it be climbing a mountain in shifting snow or changing our business model and budget during varying economic conditions.

It is going to happen from time to time. Things are not going to go your way. Just assess the situation at every step, make the changes, and rise to the challenge. Soon you will forget about the hard times you endured, but you will always remember the lessons learned.

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