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Light Side vs. Dark Side

12/16/2016 15:40 ● Published by Dan Greeson

Chris Rhodes, a father of three and owner of Soda Mountain Construction, going big on his snowboard in the backcountry of Steamboat Springs. Photo by Aryeh Copa.

By Chris Rhodes

I’m standing on top of a cliff up on Rabbit Ears Pass. I am familiar with this vista because I used to fly off it on a snowmachine. 

Today I stand on top of it with a fat bike. 

I have an epiphany: 

for 12 years I was hooked on snowmobiling. 

It brought me places most people will never go or see. Four years ago, I took a chance and sold my sled and began splitboarding. My life has changed for the better. 

I rode over 10,000 miles on a sled and became one with the machine. The sport became a mental addiction of high-risk, adrenaline-seeking behavior. My heart would beat faster the second I started the beast. I was a slave to the machine. 

People still ask if I’ve been riding, as they do not know that I’ve changed my passions. I chose a different path. Now I see different areas I would have never seen with a motor. 

I miss the two-stroke lifestyle, but I realize that things change when you try different things. I see new and old friends get hooked by the throttle. It is therapy for the mind. 

Seeing that cliff today makes me recall how fortunate I am to have lived this past life. Now I am a family man who owns a business in a beautiful resort ski town. My free time is spent skiing with my wife and kids, skinning early in the mornings up a freshly groomed trail, snowboarding lines that only some could dream of, and now riding a bike with fat tires on the snow. 

The harder I am physically on my body, the better it takes care of me. It doesn’t matter what you do in life – it is the ability to seize the moment and take nothing for granted. Live like it’s your last chance. 

Take a bluebird day and try something you’ve never done before. Go get lost, run yourself down and know when to turn around. Beers taste great at the top of a mountain, but they taste even better back at the parking lot. It is a privilege to be free and do things you dream of. Regret nothing and make bold decisions. Life is a calculated risk. If you’re not living, then what’s the point? Be ambitious and diversify. See what happens if you do.


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