For those of you that know me, you know I work to live life, I don’t live life to work. I strive to give you the best level of service I can offer, and top notch support in this frenzied market we call San Francisco, but I don’t do it to get rich. I do it because I love it, and I do it to support my lifestyle, and my family. My lifestyle that has deep roots in skiing, all the way back to my Grandpa bringing Kneisl skis to the U.S., and he and my Uncle taking Vaurnet to the next level. I had a life spent as a child at Ski trade shows and hours spent waiting in ski shops while my mom sold all kinds of products to the retailers who’s lives (including ours) depended on snow. My Dad was a huge cross country skier and I remember days building snow forts with my brother while my parents did some of the fist XC races up around Tahoe. Roots that run so deep, I recently found out my Grandpa (Opa) was offered not only the opportunity to be an early investor in Heavenly Ski Resort by the founder personally (for $5000), but also a little mountain not near, but certainly dear to a number of you SoCal skiers (Mammoth) — Don’t get excited, $5k was a lot of money back then, so sadly I have no interest in either of those mountains.
So where am I going with this? Every so often, something, or someone, comes across your life path that has a profound impact on you, or maybe someone you know. I’ve had many a moment that has changed my life, so I won’t get into them here, but this video clip, the rider in it (JP Auclair), and the skis he’s on (Armada- The skis single handedly responsible for me leaving snowboarding and getting back into skiing) have been my favorites for years, and sadly JP has lost his life:
I have been watching ski movies for as long as I can remember, and used to froth at the opportunity to get autographs of my favorite skiers at Warren Miller Movies (you might remember Scot Schmidt and Glen Plake?) Those movies were always great, and most ski movies today are also great, but they’re all very similar: Crazy skier drops big line, hucks big cliff, skis deep powder, bounces down the moguls, airs the half pipe, rail slide here, nose tap there, bluebird skies. Then a movie (in this case trailer) comes along that bends your mind. Something totally different from the rest: Practically no snow, no blue sky, skiing on pavement, skiing through a working class neighborhood, different camera angles, different lines, great soundtrack, and an entirely different approach. An approach that gets me watching this clip over and over every ski season since I’ve seen it, and wishing like hell I could ski like this. An approach that lives at the very core of riders like JP, and companies like Armada.
Sadly, the skier in this video recently lost his life in an avalanche in South America, along with his friend Andreas Fransson. Sadly, we’ll never get to see new tricks come out of this kid, my kids will never get to meet him, and his family has to deal with their tragic loss. His skiing is smooth, his life was epic, his path was primed, and it has all come to an end, way too soon. This is my tribute to him.
You might not give a shit, you might wonder why the hell I post this on a real estate blog, and you might just brush it off as a consequence of pushing the boundaries of safety, and what you consider “real life”. You might think you’ll live forever. But I hope you do give a shit, and I hope you do realize a life was taken from this world from a true talent, and I hope you let this serve as a reminder to you, and everyone you know, life is really, really short, you could die tomorrow, so get out and LIVE IT! Create. Inspire. Be kind. Be Real. Innovate. Enjoy. Share. Life is better that way. RIP JP and Andreas. Your innovation will be missed.