I started snowboarding back when I was 15 years old.
Back then it was one of my favorite things to do. Me and a few friends would pack into an SUV, drink a bunch of energy drinks and rock out to our favorite music on our way to Mt. Hood.
We got a little wild sometimes.
I broke my wrist once, got a couple concussions and injured my tailbone so bad that I literally couldn’t walk the next day (I had to army crawl across my room in the morning to turn off my alarm clock!).
Back then snowboarding was new and exciting! There wasn’t much that could compete with the allure of the mountain. It was a special place for me.
Fast forward 17 years… I’m 32 years old and I have a wife and three kids (ages five, three and two). I also have two online businesses I run. So things are much different now.
I’m writing this from the lodge at Mt. Hood Meadows. My table has a beautiful view of the mountain outside and my father-in-law, Ben, is somewhere out there riding.
We got here a couple hours ago and after three runs I was done.
The conditions are icy so it was an easy choice for me to call it a day. Plus, I wanted to write more than I wanted to ride. Ben wanted to keep riding so I told him to take his time and I would grab some coffee and do some writing in the lodge.
This is Ben’s first year snowboarding so he’s excited and willing to ride in bad conditions. I get it. I used to do the same thing back in the day.
But something changed. And as I’m sitting here thinking about this I realize there are a lot more things I’d rather be doing than snowboarding in my free time.
It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just hard to justify the time invested in this one activity when I consider the “return” I get. One of the hardest things about snowboarding is how much time it requires.
It takes two hours drive to Mt. Hood (four hours total drive time). And if we only spend three hours on the mountain that’s still seven hours. I thought about all the other “fun” things I could do in that time. I could:
- Read (1 hour)
- Write (1 hour)
- Play ice hockey (2 hrs)
- Play a game of chess (1 hour)
- Go on a date with my wife (2 hours)
So I could do all those things or just go snowboarding. And for me, I would enjoy doing those five things more.
This is why I’ve determined the “ROI on snowboarding” is no longer worth it for me.
It’s kind of sad for me to admit this. I think I’ve known it for a few years now but it’s been hard to let go of a hobby that used to mean so much to me.
But things change. And that’s OK. I’m looking forward to spending more time doing those activities I listed above. I also just realized that two of those activities (chess and hockey) are “games” you can either win or lose.
I’m a competitor at heart. And I suspect one reason why snowboarding has lost it’s grip on me is because it’s not something I can “win or lose.”
So anyway, that’s where I’m at. I’m done snowboarding. I may go once or twice a year from now on but I don’t see myself buying a season pass again (unless my kids get into it).
And what about you?
Think about how you spend your free time. Are you holding on to anything that used to inspire and excite you? Is it time to let one hobby go so you can focus more on ones you really want to do?
I think it’s good to think about this stuff every now and then.