We finally got a good coating of snow. It fell like a soft, cottony blanket. The quiet night welcomed the dusty flakes. Finally, a wintertime scene worth celebrating.
The snow falling outside made a perfect backdrop for the winter Olympics last night. The snow in Sochi, Russia created a magnificent playground for the men’s slopestyle snowboarding competition. I did not make that event up, truly. I am not a huge snow sports fan. You can’t see the competitors faces. Participants get bundled up so you much, can barely tell the men from the women. It’s a good idea; it’s cold outside. I’m just saying it’s hard to connect with a person’s story or their struggle when their features hide under a scarf, hat, goggles, etc. They become less accessible.
And then…Sage Kotsenburg.
He came across as your typical snowboarder – relaxed, goofy, possibly high. Does anyone else remember when skateboarding and snowboarding meant you were a slacker? Anyway…The name of the competition: slopeSTYLE meant he shone here, big time. He incorporated his own tricks into his runs. He had his own bag of them – Holy Crail, which won him the gold medal. He leaned into his rail runs (yes, they had actual handrails built into the course). He flipped forwards and backwards, switching out his dominant foot for landings. In his last run, he said, on a whim he threw in a flip he’d never done before. Then he says he “sorta blacked out”. Yeah. Every mama’s nightmare, that statement.
The pictures don’t do the experience justice. The pressure didn’t get to him. He rode the board on an unseen ocean, which pushed him up and over the jumps. He looked lighter than air. He floated and soared. Other competitors sat heavy on their boards, calculating, thinking, pushing forward with their mass. For him, it was his magic carpet, every ride a wonderful experience. Beautiful.
To me, all I could think of was “trust”. Soaring 20, 30, 40 feet in the air, twisting his body around and round while one hand manipulated the board, he resembled a circus performer in the center ring. And his partner waiting to catch him? The blinding white hard-pack beneath him. No trapeze artist could have done better. He didn’t fear. He didn’t panic. Sure, he bobbled a bit. But he didn’t let the desire for gold crush his “joie de vie”. He loves to snowboard. He parlayed that into a medal. Great ride, Sage. Thanks for letting us come along.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31