A snowboarder tele-dreams

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2007

Years ago, when I accidentally took a psychology class, the first thing professors warned eagerly bent students against was interpreting their own dreams.

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"It's dangerous," said the smart guy with a silver goatee.

One night recently, while waiting for fresh snow to fall, I dreamed that I was making tele-turns down Sixth Avenue without skis and without snow. Presumably I was riding on a cushion of fresh air as I made a single big knee-dropping arc of a turn off the Mount Roberts Trail down the steps, across the gravely pavement of Sixth Street, through the Chicken Yard and then set up to giv'er in the turn onto East Street.

Looking down I saw nothing strapped to my feet. The sensation was like ripping through waist-deep British Columbia powder, weightless like walking on the moon. It was liberating. It was free. And, it was all wrong.

I'm a snowboarder.

Most would infer something deep about the dream from the lack of snow. For a snowboarder to dream of skiing is equal to the cop dreaming as criminal or the priest a pimp. Better yet, yin dreaming of becoming yang.

Generally there are two kinds of people on the mountain, skiers and snowboarders, with subgroups of each. On the rare occasion a cross-dressing skier/snowboarder comes out, but core philosophies generally differ and are often opposing.

During the previous decade, I'd had only one telling gravity-fueled romp through my nocturnal psyche, and it came just as I started snowboarding. With no useful idea of what was going on, I nosed a $90 Costco snowboard with plastic bindings into a steep pillow-lined couloir. Skipping from one pillow to another, I hung on and freaked out. The dream was good; I knew it because Oprah was there with her microphone as I blew past in a trail of cold smoke. She had that big Oprah's-giving-gifts smile plastered across her face as I disappeared below.

Much later, when I got the chance for real, the ride was way less pretty and Oprah wasn't there. The bad gear part turned out to be prophetic, or at least Freudian; the board I rode was from Costco.

A good friend, Big Wave Dave, said the recent tele-dream certainly meant that I hated myself as a snowboarder. He deftly took the chance to remind me, as usual, that snowboarding is a just fad.

"I might consider, way down deep inside, that I was jealous and that I really wanted to make big fat tele-turns," he added for clarity.

My neighbor, Tele Steve, offered a much more succinct twist after hearing the dilemma brought by my questioning the meaning in the tele-dream. He said, "evolution" and walked off laughing.

Supported by the father of western dream interpretation, Dave could be right. At some point in his wild ride, Sigmund Freud said, "Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one's dreams."

My loss comes from not knowing if Freud was talking about skiing or his mother. I bend more to the Jungian; dreams are fantasies and therefore dreams should be filled with all sorts of skiing never done awake. It's the best place to ride things that we shouldn't ride in the real world. Hailing from the Midwest, it's only natural for me pass over fantasy as taboo and leave tele-skiing for "those people."

No need to change a whole lifestyle over one little fantasy.

• Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258 or greg.skinner@juneauempire.com.

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