You know you’re sick when you cannot get motivated to go skiing!!!
Although this ski day happened over 10 years ago, I still remember the circumstances leading up to this day and how it was, maybe because I’m having ten years later a sense of Déjà Vu? It had been 5 weeks since I was forced to go on sick leave, diagnosis : burn-out. After going through months with a number of physically ailments, chest pain, panic attacks, sleep disorder, high anxiety, etc. I was finally knew what was happening to me. Burnout is a type of depression which was brought on with trying to deal with limited time between work and play, a young family, an even more demanding work, emotion with the passing of my lost father, wanting to do everything at once, suddenly the rubberband snapped…Now I couldn’t get motivated about anything and accomplishing the simplest tasks asked for great effort. Getting organized to go skiing? It was hard just to get out of bed or take a shower.
I had been in Montreal for a concert in which I had a ticket for the last few months ago. I was seeing King Crimson at Place des Arts with Olivier, my close cousin. I remember feeling really on edge that evening prior to the show. Not as bad or ill as when we saw the Midnight Oil show at the defunct Montreal Spectrum in late October, just 3 days before I had a diagnosis and forced on sick-leave. The show was great, this version King Crimson is different from people listened in the 1970s; it was heavier. The 2000 lineout consisted of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn, and Pat Mastelotto. My cousin and I were blown away by the opening act; the one and only, John Paul Jones. I didn’t know his solo stuff, it was pretty much in line with where KC was at now.
I was going to take advantage of being in Montreal to go skiing with a friend. Skiing : The perfect medication against depression.
King Crimson: The Construkction of Light live 2003
John Paul Jones: B. Fingers
So the next morning my High School ski buddy, Jean-Pierre, not John Paul, came by my mom’s place to pick me up so we could head to Tremblant on this Friday. JP doesn’t work on Friday in Winter in order to go skiing, so it worked out perfectly. Not sure if I would have made it skiing if I was solo and only up to my will power? My ears still ringing from the loud show that morning. Up North on the Laurentians Autoroute, a drive I seldom since I moved to Ottawa. Not much snow in the fields and it was a warm start to December : temperature reached a +18c in Montreal the previous day. Another reason to be depressed with this late start to Winter.
I had a new pair of skis, my first ‘parabolics’; the Atomic Beta Race 10:22, but instead I took my reliable old 201cm long Rossignol 7Sk. Arrived on the South side and was parked far away. Lift ticket cost me $41, I don’t remember if I had a discount or not that time? Temperature was dropping and the skiing was limited mostly on frozen granular on the Upper North side which probably consisted of Lowell Thomas, La Traverse and Beauchemin. Skiing all day using the LT Triple and uploading and downloading from the summit via the Gondola.
Earlier in the week, the psychotherapist mentioned that I could try to go skiing if I wasn’t too stressed. Skiing is generally and has always been my drug, my anti-depressant.
It was good to be out, I can do this.