Almost The End of Ski Season!

I have not written much, for several reasons. First, I really do not know who is reading this and if I am even sending it out in the way those who write blogs, do. (I don’t think so). But mostly I have been so busy at work to spend more time trying to articulate my feelings on paper. Now that the ski season is wrapping up, I must say a few things because for me and Gear West, the past few months have been pretty darn good for a ski store owner.

Minnesota got WINTER! Sure, we have experienced weird weather swings, but snow has been pretty darn fabulous. And personally, I returned to normal, health-wise.

I am super happy to have two solid functioning legs, and ribs that can now stand some heavy breathing as I worked my way back into shape for skiing. Interested customers ask me how I am doing, and I have to say I certainly experienced a new set of challenges during my hurt/down time. Of course, I continue to thank my lucky stars that my accident was recoverable. I could heal. I became more fascinated about how the body devoted so much energy to healing. Also, I had to reset priorities quickly if I wanted to emotionally stay positive and not be a drag on those around me, and I had to cut out gluten . Pretty much, I stayed on course for those three + months, so now I can say, WOW/ Phew, I did it. (All except I am back loving and consuming lots of carbs).

I am also super happy about the wonderful winter. But even a great winter does not make life as a ski store owner easier. Running a business is like dodgeball, trying to make it to the finish line from October to March without being pummeled to the ground by all the balls flung at me. As I mentioned to another woman business owner while skiing, there is never time to let up ‘in season’. To do things right requires constant focus. To consistently strive to provide the highest quality customer service, to handle long hours, to fix problems, to not spend more money than we bring in, to stay on top of all paperwork, to order inventory for next winter season, and to have 20+ employees work together and pull in the same positive direction (I sound like a sled dog driver) are all hurdles to overcome … the list of my goals is endless.

So life just continues to zoom by. I try to harness all my desires to do new and cool things by setting and achieving goals. I constantly challenge myself to improve the business, to read or listen to new ways of doing or thinking about life or work, to save some bucks by getting my grown children off the cell phone bill, to find time for others who would like some help and to just feed the energy to get outside in all conditions and move on skis.

Hopefully I can avoid flying dodge balls and continue to look at life (at a ripe ol’ age of 60) as a series of fresh new opportunities, if I keep my eyes and mind open.

But I sure am planning to sit back and savor the end of Birke week, no matter how I ski, and appreciate the joy and energy that this fun ski event brings to all the Gear West customers, winter loving skiers and myself.

-  Jan Guenther

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