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I searched and could not find this and felt like it need to be shared.

Keys To Reality
by Ken Achenbach

It’s kind of funny how you can go from walking around with nothing but lint in you pocket and being totally stoked, to walking around with a pocket full of keys and being totally bummed.

It starts out simply and seductively. I’ll just get this car so I can snowboard more. Wrong. Anything that let’s you snowboard more is a scam. It won’t let you snowboard more because you ride every day and a car can’t add days to the week.

“I’ll just get this little night job so I can buy gas,” you hear yourself saying. There’s another key. Then your job starts making you miss sleep, so you can’t snowboard as hard or as long as you used to. And you need stuff to wear to work. You need a place to change and store your stuff. Now you have an address, that’s another key. Soon you have to get a day job because you’re not making enough money at night. The keys start adding up.

Now that you have a job, girls know you’re not a total loss and you end up with a girlfriend. She wants you to hang with her once in a while instead of going boarding all the time. First, she gives you the key to her heart, and then the key to her apartment. That’s two more. You can’t give her the key to your heart because snowboarding put a combination lock on it and only your snowboard knows the number.

Now you have a bunch of keys in your pocket. They’re high-maintenance items. You have to take care of them. They’re weighing you down. Snowboarding is slowly slipping away, and you don’t even notice.

One day, cruising to your full-time office job that you had to get a few years back to make payments on all your keys, you drive past a guy on the corner with his thumb out and a snowboard under his arm. While speeding by you start thinking about the guy you just passed. He looked like you used to—snowboard and nothing else. As you pull into the parking lot at work, you can’t get the hitchhiker out of your head. Your mind keeps wandering back. Pulling all the keys out of you pocket and jingling them, you think about what you really want from life.

Running back to your car, you reverse out of the parking lot and squeal a Rockford in the middle of the four-lane highway. You’ve got to get away from your keys. You begin throwing them out the window as you blow down the highway. First to go is the key to the door at work. Then you backhand your girlfriend’s apartment key out the passenger window. Flick, there goes the key to the storage unit, then the key to her car. Flick, flick, flick. You feel better each time a key flies out the window and goes bouncing down the pavement at 100 mph. You don’t even slow down for the tollbooth, paying instead with the tossed key to your office and the executive washroom.

You only have two keys left. You unlock your house, run in, grab your snowboard, and dash out of the house. You leave the key to your house sitting in the lock to the front door. Whoever finds the house open can take it, and all your stuff. You don’t need it anymore. You jump back into the car and start burning rubber through all four gears back to the highway where you saw the hitcher.
He’s still there. You slam on the brakes. When he opens the car door, you look into his eyes. It’s you. It’s the life you left behind when you sold out.
 

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Sold out? That's pretty strong way to insult reality for some of the people who take snowboarding as a hobby, not as a career path.

My day job as this essay alludes to is what enabled me to start snowboarding. Without the income this job currently provides, snowboarding is nothing but a pipe dream that I only dreamt of as a poor high school kid. Snowboarding was a goal, a reward for working hard to get yourself through school and getting a stable job.

Also, since when was having a girlfriend a bad thing. Last time I checked having a girl that can ride along with you is one way the world tells you that you've made it.
 

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Id rather be the guy working and making a living and snowboarding for pleasure than the bum who has to hitchhike to get around, bum some ramen to eat, and couch surf.

That's just me. I'd love to not ever have to work and snowboard every day. But that isn't reality nor realistic.

Working stiff + snowboard for fun, vs being a bum.

Seriously, if I lived that life I'd surf. At least you can do that year round.
 

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Id rather be the guy working and making a living and snowboarding for pleasure than the bum who has to hitchhike to get around, bum some ramen to eat, and couch surf.

That's just me. I'd love to not ever have to work and snowboard every day. But that isn't reality nor realistic.

Working stiff + snowboard for fun, vs being a bum.

Seriously, if I lived that life I'd surf. At least you can do that year round.
Weird because I live that reality and so do many people I know. I'm at work right now and rode today, riding tomorrow too, and the next two days. But you keep believing that and ill keep living this unrealistic life where I'm stoked to strap into my board everyday
 

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Weird because I live that reality and so do many people I know. I'm at work right now
So how are you living that life? You have a job...f'ing sellout.

The important thing for me is being able to have enough free time and money to do whatever I want when I'm not at work.
 

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Weird because I live that reality and so do many people I know. I'm at work right now and rode today, riding tomorrow too, and the next two days. But you keep believing that and ill keep living this unrealistic life where I'm stoked to strap into my board everyday
that is fine. Never said anything about that. work and ride everyday, more power to you.

Are you hitchhiking just to get to the mountain? that's what that story says. The guy who chooses boarding over working. And If you do the opposite, you're a sell out.

That's what I'm talking about. Not what you are doing. Two completely different things. If you're not a bum, but get to ride everyday, fuck who am I to say anything?

But the story is implying it's better to be a bum and ride, then to work and ride occasionally, and if you don't agree, you're a sellout.

So no, you're not living that reality. That reality as I put it, is to NOT work and ride everyday, forever. You're working, and riding. that's good. That's responsible. That's awesome.

But that's not what the story is getting at.
 

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Good point, I'm at work now too :) I could ride every day if I wanted, and probably would if there was a real mountain nearby.
 

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Good point, I'm at work now too :) I could ride every day if I wanted, and probably would if there was a real mountain nearby.
Sellout. Put up a bench and slide down everyday.

I mean, you can do it for a while, but reality is, you need money. If I could make money from home and ride everyday shoot I'd be there in a second. But those opportunities are few and far between. The rest of us, must work. Why is that selling out? And again, if I could live that life, I'd surf at least I can put on a wetsuit when it gets cold and do it 365. Oh and it's free too :D
 

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It ain`t easy being steezy
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I might do that in my backyard, got a nice drop in for it too since my house is on a hill...but I have a backyard, and live in a house...damnit, I'm a f'ing sellout too :)
 

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He's a sellout because he took an office job that he thought would give him security in life but it only made him lose sight of what truly made him happy
 

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I don't agree with this at all. I graduated college with a degree in photography about a year ago. Right now I am still slangin pizzas in Denver, even though I could be making 3X the money doing what I love for a living in LA, Chicago, or NYC. I do this because I can work three 12 hour shifts a week, and ride 2-3 days a week. Next season, I will be moving to either keystone, breck, or vail to do epicmix photo, and be able to walk to the lifts. After that, off to the real world, because being responsible is responsible, and not being a bum.

If snowboarding is your number one priority, and you can figure out a way to do it every day without being a leech on others, more power to you. I love snowboarding with all of my heart, but I have higher priorities. I want to make enough money, at a job that I love, to support myself, decide my own schedule, travel to new places to snowboard, and possibly support a family.
 

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I think the bigger problem is when you no longer work to live. Once it crosses over into the 'live to work' expectation that most office jobs try to force on you its over. I know people who think they need to work massive amounts of overtime and end up losing vacation at the end of the year. If you can keep the balance it can be a necessary evil.

I'm like jello, I grew up with no snow. W/o the job getting me out of there and the money that came along with it I would have just filled the addiction with something else and probably wouldn't even snowboard.
 

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If someone has a job that they can punch out massive overtime on the off season to be able to take off during the season and be able to live and support his/her family then that is smart in my mind :D making money and still being able to do what you like/love :thumbsup:
 

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This post is pretty hilarious. I love my work. I do work hard, but I work with friends so we spend the day joking around. Sure it is a desk job (software developer). But it pays the bills and more. I ride at least 3 hours every day. But I also have the money to travel around the world to snowboard (snowboarding in the summer is great!). I have every weekend off to snowboard, and I own my car :). I also have money in the bank so I can retire and enjoy the other half of my life. I don't want to be 50 and still couch surfing and bumming rides. Instead I can retire at the bottom of a mountain and walk out to the lift.


If working is selling out, thank god some one did otherwise who would make all our gear!
 

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Well this was enlightening. I'm made to feel guilty that I have a wonderful Husband, 2 cars, a house, a beautiful daughter, whom I've made the sacrifice to stay home with everyday. I hate to be a downer, but there are more important things than riding everyday. Disagree with me if you must, but it really isn't a reality for the vast majority.
 

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I think the bigger problem is when you no longer work to live. Once it crosses over into the 'live to work' expectation that most office jobs try to force on you its over. I know people who think they need to work massive amounts of overtime and end up losing vacation at the end of the year.
Agreed!! For me, my unintended hiatus from snowboarding was due to something similar to this. I never planned on it; it just sort of happened. I vowed never to allow that again.

I took the original post as a metaphor for staying true to yourself and living the life YOU want to live. I see nothing wrong with that.
 

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Living to snowboard is cool, but unless you get paid to snowboard, you are going to have to do something else to eat. Even a lot of pros work night jobs and do shit during the summer to save up. I know a guy who lives in Breck and drives plows a few days week and makes his big bank back home with his dad's business during the offseason. He probably gets in 80-100 a year. Is he a sellout for having A job? As a cubicle weekend warrior, I'll probably get 45 days in this season.

This article is true in regards to keeping life in perspective (it's becoming a fucking cliche to talk about this) but reality is reality and you have to feed yourself somehow. If life was really as easy as just having a snowboard and doing nothing but riding, eating shitting and sleeping, you wouldn't see me on these boards at all.
 

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I'm a college student and still have almost 20 days so far and the resort opened just around Christmas. You don't need to work overtime and sellout to snowboard, but you also don't have to be a bum and not have a job. I have a part time job and have still managed to pay for a seasons pass, gas to a hill 45 mins away, and all new gear this year. If you become a bum because you think you have to in order to do it a lot and enjoy it your just lazy and looking for excuses. However if you work overtime and think you still don't have enough money to snowboard then you need to tone it down a little and stop buying Corvettes.
 
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