Around here, that’s the term that refers to folks who have to work that pesky day job from Monday through Friday and can only enjoy ski days on the weekends. I have, after 36 years of skiing and 15 years of teaching, finally self-identified as a weekend warrior.
Growing up in a ski family in a ski town, I skied as much as humanly possible. It was Vermont, and the winters were still super snowy, and it’s just what we did. We skied. Skiing wasn’t a choice that we had to work to fit into our schedule; our schedules were just molded around the skiing plans. I would scoff at the ridiculous idea that other people might be resigned to pile into a car, and to travel to a ski area on the weekends just to ski for a few hours before having to pack up and leave for the long drive back. Pssssshhhhhht. Weekend warriors. We were so much cooler – we could just pop up to the mountain and take a few runs after school before the lifts closed at the end of the day. We would never be those other kind of people who had jobs, ugh, that kept them from living the dream.
Now, in my defense, this was back when I was an invincible kid and thought that my tiny sliver of the universe set the bar of expectation for everyone else’s lives. When you’re a kid, you have moments when you get to sit in that comfy armchair of judgement.
“If you are lucky, you will grow old. And you will know shit then.” – Lester Laminack
I have been lucky. I have grown older, and I might even know a little bit more now than I used to. I know that we don’t always get to choose fun over must-do. I know that we grow and have other responsibilities in our lives. I know that we need to actively strive to balance playtime and worktime. I also know that skiing remains a foundational part of my life.
In college, I took every chance that I got to drive out of the big city and up to the mountains for my escape to the ski trails. I brought my homework with me and completed assignments in parking lots of ski areas and read my books in the breeze on high mountain passes. After college, I moved to a ski town. I worked at a climbing/skiing store. I skied at least four days each week. I connected with Mike over our shared love of moving fast, downhill, on snow. 17 years later, this ski town is still home, but the strangest thing has happened…
I have become a weekend warrior. Not only that, but I proudly proclaim my status to those who ask how my winter is going. The simple reason why this change quietly slid into my vernacular is that I love my job. My Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4:00pm, small-people-wrangling, lives-changing, awesome job. My job which forces me, most of the time, to be relegated to the ranks of a weekend warrior, and you know what? It’s totally worth it.
Apart from my list of the myriad ways why I love teaching first and second grade (oh, hey there, Future Slice Idea!), here’s what I’ve found about being a weekend warrior:
- Being a weekend warrior connects you to people, to other weekend warrior crusaders who are also out enjoying the snow.
- Being a weekend warrior is awesome when your ski legs aren’t quite there yet. It’s a great excuse.
- Being a weekend warrior is not so awesome when big storms come midweek and you don’t get a snow day.
Being a weekend warrior is exactly what I relished in this afternoon, but I think I also managed to slide in some of those easy breezy kid-like moments. I popped up to the mountain for a few hours of sunshine-filled Casual Ski Day groomers. The sun was shining, the crowds were non-existent, the chairs were cushy and warm, the snow was soft, and I smiled the entire time. Then I popped back down when
my feet hurt too badly to continue it was time to be responsible and swing by school to prepare some materials for next week.
So it seems that I can continue to find enjoyment in this self-defining activity and manage to balance other responsibilities of, ya know, life. Take THAT, you outdated notion that you’re not allowed to have any fun anymore once you “grow up”!
PS: Being a weekend warrior is a non-existent thing once those extended weekends and breaks swing through. I’m so happy that my dream job just happens to allow for those days upon days of playtime possibilities. Spring Break skiing, here I come!
PPS: Don’t be too fooled by this post. I recognize how fortunate I am to be able to make these kind of choices. I’m actually quite responsible and level-headed. I’m 38 and a half, after all.