Musings | On Feeling Alive

Throwback Thursday | Ski Mag

My sister got married this last weekend and although I wasn't the MoH, I got tapped to give the toast. 

Tapped is the wrong word. It came up at the bachelorette party and the MoH, one of my other sisters, commented that she would resolutely not being giving a toast. The bride was okay with that, but I saw my opportunity. I happily, and somewhat tipsily, volunteered myself. "I'll do it. I love that stuff," I said. 

And I do. The vibration I felt, sitting at the bridal table before dinner, knowing that I was soon going to be handed a mic, it was the most excited I've felt in a long time. A few minutes before go-time, I dragged my big sister up to the bar, where we both slammed a shot of vodka, and then perched up next to the bride, just waiting. 

This whole diatribe could be construed as an effort in vanity, but I'd argue against that. This is what makes me feel alive. I fucking killed that speech. I memorized what I meant to say and it went off without a hitch. People laughed when I wanted them to laugh and when I said "cheers" at the end, they lifted their glasses and cheers'ed. I am not a nervous speaker and I'm good at it. Don Draper, although an asshat, said not to feel bad for being good at your job. But it's more than that - this is what makes me feel alive. 

Some people like to ski down literal mountains. Some people ride motorcycles or want to jump out of airplanes and I suspect they enjoy all of those things because the adrenaline makes them so aware of their life in that moment. I know we're supposed to be humble and just barely accept compliments, but isn't that stupid? Do we think Tony Hawk is allowed to acknowledge that he's a hell of a skateboarder? Or does he have to squeamishly reply "awww, it's nothing really" when someone tells him he's great? 

I value my physicality and none of the aforementioned adrenaline shots has ever done it for me. But hand me a microphone and an audience and I'll buzz from that feeling of their rapt attention all day. I don't know why, but I also don't think a skier really questions their love for their sport, so I'm not sure why I feel like I need to question mine. We both enjoy something that other people find scary. We both prepare for it. We both probably harbor last minute trepidation before we find our mark. And then - whoosh - we both go for it and boy, that rush we get to feel. 

I used to speak to large groups for work and while those were far less interesting presentations, I felt a similar rush. Now I've been out of that career for nearly 10 years and it's been so long since I've stood in front of a group of people like that. I felt like I rediscovered a part of myself last weekend. This is it - this is what makes me tick. 

What makes you feel alive? 



Speaking of feeling alive, nothing like aging to do the trick

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