Carnes: Lots of excuses is no excuse (column) | VailDaily.com

Carnes: Lots of excuses is no excuse (column)

Richard Carnes
Richard's Rulings

"I didn't want to get out of bed."

"It looked too cold outside."

"My boots hurt."

Not quite on par with the philosophical idiom of "the dog ate my homework," but just about every one of us here in Happy Valley have used at least one of the above excuses to not get up on the mountain.

Lame, for sure, and I'm just as guilty, maybe even more so for a season such as the one we're still experiencing, what with triple-digit bases and needing more than one hand to count the "epic days" of real powder.

I’ve already missed more than I should have, and I know the guilt will show itself around the end of April.

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My first few years here in the mid-'80s, I had a goal of being on the mountain at least 100 days each season, and now I have to force myself to make it up in double digits.

I achieved that goal a few times, but like John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

But come on, that's not really an excuse, is it?

Like asking at what altitude deer turn into elk, I wonder at what point excuses turn into blame. Both are subconscious desires to manage failure and disappointment from ourselves, but that's about as philosophical as I can get.

It is great to have an extra hour of daylight now. Skiers can ski a few extra runs, tourists can apres-drink a couple of extra shots in the sun, worker bees can wake up in the dark again and on Sunday everyone finally had a logical and valid reason for being late.

It was indeed a valid excuse, but only for that one day (unless your boss is an idiot).

But I admit, my excuse-laden backside yearns for blue sky days with just enough sunshine in the early morning to loosen up the surface.

Must protect my fragile, 59-year-old knees.

Am I spoiled?

Why, hell yes, of course, I am, as that's part of the beauty of living here in the first place.

For every grinning 20-something working two jobs and still skiing 100-plus days each season, you will find at least as many 30, 40 and even 50-somethings struggling paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet while maintaining some semblance of family normalcy.

It's always been that way around here, so I say, "Happiness is what happens when you're not busy being unhappy."

Whether the snow continues at this almost-record pace, I'll be up there this week with the Pink Vail crowd as a proud member of the KZYR/KKVM radio team, and just like every single time I make myself strap on the boots and ride a lift, I remind myself of Warren Miller's line, "If you don't get out there and ski today, you'll just be one day older when you do."

Yes, I'm paraphrasing, but the point remains: What are you waiting for?

No more pointless excuses.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.