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Get Connected the Old Fashioned Way on the Ski Slopes

Dustin Schaefer, Loveland Ski Area Dustin Schaefer, Loveland Ski Area

By James Lummis

Recent events have confirmed something that I have been hearing and noticing the last 90 days. It’s not a new app, nor a new OS. Frankly it’s the oldest form of connection. It’s individual connections with other real, live people. What a concept.

A long time friend from college was taken way too soon from his wife, his daughters, and his huge circle of friends. Steve welcomed my wife and I when we moved to his area of the world and made sure we were included in his circle. This weekend I learned he did the same for no less than 15 others including having them live with him and his family at all stages – living with parents, first home with college friends, after he was married and even after Sandra and he had kids. Steve cooked the meals, planned the parties, invited the eclectic group, picked the Dead show to listen to-wow! Steve’s capacity also included making sure on his ski trips to Colorado to make sure we were invited to join him and his family. Trips with our families at Telluride Ski Resort and Snowmass are particularly great memories.

These ski days with Steve and our combined families provided deeper connections with a good friend and help illustrate to a second generation the social aspect of skiing. Skiing with kids teaches them that skiing is a social sport – getting all involved to pick the runs to ski, exploring new parts of the resort, and riding the lift together. The chairlift is such a unique part of the shared athletic experience because you have to stop the activity, sit down next to your chair buddy and connect. The ride is a perfect place to renew your friendships, reconnect and especially for our children to meet new friends and connect without the parents. Skiing also creates connections with the outdoors and seeing the incredible vistas in Colorado Ski Country and sharing them with your friends and kids is a shared experience that is hard to forget.

My takeaway from this past weekend is I have a much greater capacity to connect with people than I currently am taking advantage of and I am starting now. I am making a list which is titled Phone, Write Letter. Under this is a list of the people important to me. This will be my new app. As a long time friend, unseen for over 16 years ago over a quiet cup of coffee yesterday said: “This is way better than making snide comments on Facebook.”

Connect with your tribe, connect wth your family.If a name pops into your head, write it down and add to your list as there is a reason that name surfaced. Use your smartphone’s phone appto call and connect, invite to coffee, or to join you for a ski day. Invite a ski buddy to try a place you haven’t skied in a while. Give Cooper, Eldora, andPowderhorn a try. The skiing will be fun, the time connecting better. Heck, just ask how they are doing. This will be your best app in your life.