Light Side vs. Dark Side
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.
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.