Vail Daily column: Another self-serving milestone | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily column: Another self-serving milestone

Sitting in a lonely hotel room far from home, I found myself seriously contemplating just exactly what it is that has transpired over the last eight years.

“But I thought you two have been married almost 18 years?”

I’ve been married almost 28 years now, if you must know. But not in a row.

“What? Oh …”

But that’s not important. This has to do with a confession of sorts.

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“Well it’s about time you fess’d up.”

No-no-no, it has nothing to do with religion or politics or the local GOP’s sad choice of representation, but something that really matters in the “World of Carnes.”

“You mean…”

Yes, after eight years of competitive ski racing, it’s time to move on.

“But Richard, how could you give it all up after only the equivalent of two presidential terms?!”

Well, to begin with, this is not about me, but my youngest, the one that just recently turned 16, and using presidential term limits is a stupid analogy.

“But you and your wife will miss it, right? I mean, seriously, it’s all you talk about during the winter season, except for golf, the NFL playoffs and beer, I suppose.”

Of course we would miss it, but you’re missing something more important, as this is about our son’s childhood.

“Come again.”

These last eight years have been full of the experiences he’s going to reflect upon for the rest of his life, and besides, I didn’t say he was quitting, but that he is “moving on.” He’ll be at the FIS level (International Ski Federation) in just a few weeks, and the era of fun ski race trips with Mom and Dad is coming to a quick close, for the most part.

“So … you’re feeling old?”

No. Yes. Maybe. I don’t know, but I do know his mom and I are impressed with the young adult he is becoming, and we give ski racing a good chunk of the credit. Ski Club Vail, and especially his coaches over the years, have played a tremendous role in his development as a young man, and I guess I’m simply admitting that we will miss those early years and all the fun we’ve had becoming friends with so many other parents. We’ve enjoyed at least 50 ski trips and they always felt like mini-vacations, even when the races were as close as Copper Mountain.

“So his ski racing career is not coming to an end?”

Of course not. What gave you that idea? And it’s not a career, it’s just simply his childhood. 99.9 percent of these kids will not become pro ski racers, but when they’re our age and somebody asks them what life was like when they were a kid, can you imagine how incredibly unique it is to say, “Yeah, I grew up ski racing in Vail … ”

“I get it, but it’s a good thing most of them aren’t as shallow and elitist-sounding as us full-grown adults.”

Agreed.

“So, what’d I miss? Why were you sitting in a lonely hotel room far from home?”

Oh, it was actually a nice condo in Winter Park last weekend, and my wife had to work — somebody in this family has to — and my son stays with the team now, so I was just hanging out alone in the room after having a few beers with all the other parents after a race and was bored and trying to think of a subject for this column.

“So you wrote about yourself again, huh?”

Yep, pretty much.

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


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