The last few years, I have been seriously rethinking how I link skiing and alcohol. In fact, looking through popular depictions of skiing and it is obvious the link is strong in the public mind.
Breaking the Link Between Skiing and Alcohol — More Mechanical than Thoughtful
My Après-ski routine usually involves food and drink, no surprise there. In general I carried out both parts with reckless excess. I would eat rich and much and I would drink too much, in fact it is misleading to call the drinking strictly a part of my Après-ski ski routine, it was during as well.
I would not call the drinking out of control, but a repeated thoughtless choice. In general, my life was heading for the off-ramp to alcoholism.
Breaking the Link Between Skiing and Alcohol — A Momentary Loss of Control
I have written about the necessity of being in control while skiing. I have also gone into detail on how much can happen even during a momentary lapse of control, the same too when drinking. When you have consumed large amounts of booze you lose control, no doubt about it and you know what I am talking about. You do not have to be driving or operating machinery to do damage either, the words slurring out of your mouth can wreak plenty of damage. You unknowingly cut down a dear friend, you let a secret out, or you act like a doofus in front of the wrong people. Even if nothing serious happens, for the next few days you wonder what happened and how much of an idiot you came out looking like. That momentary lapse of control could send something very important to you careening into a tree at 60 miles per hour; it is only a matter of chance.
Breaking the Link Between Skiing and Alcohol — The Wisdom of the Ages!
The drinking that often goes with Après-ski can and does damage you! You eventually recover from the hangover and the post-bender apprehension goes away, but like a river carving slowly into stone the slow and steady flow of booze does damage your body and mental capabilities. We acknowledge the fact in our jokes, but it really is not something we should be joking about.
The damage drink does to our mental abilities is like that river carving out a valley. The changes are gradual and no one notices not even ourselves, even if the damage is minimal it is there and reduces our ability to think and plan long term.
There is also the risk of addiction. The old commercial showing young people saying when they grow up they hope to die as a young addict in a ditch somewhere is easy to laugh at, especially when you are young. That message is societal wisdom — the wisdom of ages, listen to it. Your doctor urging you to cut back on drinking — listen to it. Your family telling you, you drink too much — listen to it. Your friends telling you drink too much — listen to it. We are a liberal (that word is used in its traditional sense not with its connection to US Politics) society and if someone is telling you have a drinking problem they are not trying to be control freaks they are throwing a lifeline to you.
Rethinking Après-ski — I Have Seen the Bottle and Damage Done
I paraphrase Neil Young’s song:
I’ve seen the bottle
and the damage done
A little shard of it in everyone
We generally consider addiction a victimless situation, the addict brings on damage to themselves and no one else. That would be true if the addict lived in perfect isolation but who does? Surely the addict is someone’s child, sibling, or parent? Surely, the addict has non-addict friends? Do not those non-addict friends and family lose when an addict transforms from a healthy human into a shamble? The addicts themselves feel as if nothing is wrong with them, but us on the outside see the damage and go through the pain of loss.
Do not victimize your friends and family.