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Just go have fun! June 28, 2009

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

It’s a perspective simply unmatched in my lifetime. Standing high atop Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, I couldn’t shake my sense of awe while looking out over the stunning beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Despite the calendar reading June 19, some of the mountain peaks were still kissed in snow. Contrasted with the remaining landscape blanketed in varying shades of springtime, the visual experience nearly resulted in sensory overload.

Looking out over Park City, Utah, from the peak of Deer Valley.

Looking out over Park City, Utah, from the peak of Deer Valley.

But I didn’t come for just the view. At the invitation of my friend John-Michael Stern, this was the starting point for my first crack at honest-to-God mountain biking. I definitely qualify as a bit of a thrill seeker (though not enough to ever jump out of a plane with a parachute strapped to my back, just for the record), and the opportunity to snake my way down the twisting pathways of Deer Valley hit a sweet spot. Did it meet my expectations? Let me just say I’m hooked!

And the fun didn’t end at the base of Deer Valley. The following day, J.M. took me to the Utah Olympic Park, one of the venues for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Pretty cool, I thought, to check out the site of events like ski jumping and bobsledding, along with a museum dedicated to the 2002 games.

The Flying Aces exhibition at Utah Olympic Park. Look closely and you'll see three jumpers.

The Flying Aces exhibition at Utah Olympic Park. Look closely and you'll see three jumpers.

But, boy, did we luck out! In addition that day, the site was hosting an exhibition called the Flying Aces All-Stars. High-flying Olympians and national ski-jump team members soared up to 60 feet in the air, performing amazing acrobatic feats before landing in a pool of water. I couldn’t get enough, even standing outside in a light rain, as I was during the entire show. It was amazing to watch!

So yeah, it’s great to reminisce, but I’m actually working my way toward making a point. It was so much fun just having fun. Sounds pretty simple, I know, but why don’t I spend more time having fun?

Prior to this trip, I had gone way too long without taking any substantial vacation time in about a year (totally my own fault), and I didn’t like who I had become during that period. Little things, I mean ‘little’ things, were starting to eat at me. Job, money, relationships, other people’s relationships—what a waste of time and energy! And I know you know what I mean.

Why do we do that? God knows there are plenty of genuine concerns in life and they’re destined to generate some anxiety, but why do we sweat the small stuff? I kept asking myself that during some of my more reflective moments in Utah. I guess there’s probably no simple answer, but I need to STOP!

To be honest, I probably spend too much time trying to match what I perceive to be other people’s expectations of me. I think that’s been a primary stressor throughout my life. Hard to say why, but I suspect I’m not alone on that.

So take more time to race a bike down a winding mountain path, or spend more time marveling at the acrobatics of athletes flying through the air, whatever! Just go have fun! But don’t forget to invite me along.



1. Lori - June 28, 2009

Thanks Paul, nice to be reminded of that!

2. JM - June 29, 2009

Hey Paul, I found your blog! It was hearty reading this blog, as we both were the characters of this fun-filled plot! Thanks for putting this into words, and your philosophical note about the essence of having fun added a meaningful touch to the story.

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