I used to have a St. Bernard that loved the snow. One would expect a dog that had been bred to rescue people in the Swiss Alps to be a big fan of snow, but this dog was an absolute snow addict. Every fall when the first snowflakes fell from the sky she would start barking until you let her outside. Once there was any amount of snow on the ground she became an outside dog for the rest of the winter. Every spring she would lay on the last patch of snow she could find until every last flake was melted. Once all the snow was gone she transitioned back to an inside dog, spending her entire summer in our kitchen laying over the air conditioning vent.
Hardcore snowmobilers are a lot like my St. Bernard and for them, spring can be a depressing time. Over the years I’ve struggled with different ways to cope with post snow depression and I have finally found a solution that makes dealing with spring a little bit easier.
THE SEASONS OF TRANSITION
Much like life, I look at a year as being simply a transition from different stages leading up to the ultimate conclusion of winter. The first thing to do is look at spring not as the death of winter but a rebirth of a new series of transitions that ultimately leads you back to winter. I try to forget the fact that snow is melting and look forward to the life that is springing up all around me, the return of birds, green grass and leaves on the trees. It’s time to wash and wax your sled, lube it up, put fuel stabilizer in it and tuck it away in your garage for the summer. It may also be time to fix any minor or major problems that developed with the sled over the winter. This year my kid’s Indy needs a whole suspension rebuild which will be much easier to do with the temperature in my garage above zero. Now that your sleds are squared away you have to come up with a mental trick to help grind your way to winter and that’s where my transition stages come in.
Besides being a snowmobiler I also happen to be a Minnesota Vikings fan, which in itself is a special kind of added torture. Luckily the NFL transition somewhat mirrors the seasonal transition. The typical Vikings season usually ends in late December or early January which is usually when the best snow starts arriving. You finish out the snowmobile season and spring comes which also means NFL draft time. As you are checking out the Spring only models from the manufacturers you are also seeing your team building for their future just like (If you purchased a spring only sled) you are building for your future snowmobile season. Before you know it, June 21st arrives and the days start getting shorter- yes the hottest summer days are still to come but each day gets shorter and shorter and you are marching ever closer to winter.
SUMMER: By the time summer arrives you can look forward to a cooler filled with ice and beer on your deck and the grill cooking up the perfect steaks. Every time you reach into the icy cooler and feel the crisp cold beer on the back of your throat you are reminded of the crisp coldness of winter. In the NFL you have OTA’s and then training camp and the next thing you know its August and preseason football is here. Back to school ads start cropping up on TV and fall is just around the corner.
FALL: This is when things start taking shape and your snowmobile juices start flowing. The first snowmobile club meetings are called to order, swap meets start popping up and the NFL season gets under way. The leaves start changing color and October arrives. By October, the Cleveland Browns have already been eliminated from playoff contention and clubs start feverishly working on getting the trails ready. Snowmobiletrail.com starts posting blogs and every day gets a little bit colder. After Halloween passes you can start watching the weather every night before you go to bed. You know that the cold nights will start bleeding into cold days, ice starts forming on the pond and any day that early snowstorm could hit and at long last you are back into winter and your sleds roar to life for another season of bliss. Give these mental tricks a try this off season and see if it accelerates your journey toward what will hopefully be a winter that is less disappointing than football season.