O'Hara-20130104-00081 You know, whatever you do in life, it is important in my opinion to do it with passion. People have romantic passion. They have passion about their work or spiritual life. But passion is what makes a good athlete great, a businessman successful,and a marriage that continues to grow. Life in general is much better if you find at least one thing where passion dictates the path on which you travel.
Another dimension of passion is how you approach a hobby or a sport in which you participate. Golf is a sport where most participants see it as a lifestyle rather that just something that one does. You either play golf, or you are……….a golfer. Skiing is a similar pastime where it becomes part of the fabric of your life if you approach it with passion and dedication. That is what happened to me through the efforts of my folks who did not ski by the way. I remember it was my dad”s birthday in March of 1962 and he took my mother, my sister and me to Seven Springs Resort here in Western Pennsylvania for the first time. It was a horrendous night on the turnpike but my folks thought that this would be a great sport for my sister and I to learn. Fast forward to a year later, I will never forget the feeling as I awoke on Christmas day to find a pair of Innsbruck wooden skis with cable bindings and Saska leather boots which were lace boots. My dad bloddied his knuckles many times tying those boots for me until he made me learn how to do it correctly. My folks had thrown the bait to me and I grabbed it and was hooked for life. Every day I called the ski report to listen to the god of all skiing, Lars Skylling, give those famous words on the ski report……….” The skiing is GOOD to EXCELLENT!!!” I read the Seven Springs brochures cover to cover until they were ragged and was thrilled that I got to ski at night on rock hard ice and brutally cold conditions. But I was hooked and the experience fueled my passion to this day. God bless Carol and Dick McCloskey. They would love to see that 51 years later, I am still following my passion to ski.
Bob Rose, Sally Rose, Barley Rich and Dixon Rich, who were our neighbors, took all of us neighbor kids to the next level when they bought a farm house on County Line Road right near Seven Springs. Every weekend we would pile into the Rose staion wagon and hit the mountains for the weekend. My mom would have dinner ready for me at 4:30 and I would wait by the phone for Bob Rose to call and tell me what time he was picking Molly and me up for the ride to the slopes. We had so many great times in that farmhouse and at the slopes. It’s funny, today you would never think of dropping off a kid to ski all day, give him some ravioli money for dinner, and them pick up the kid at 11:00 passed out in front of the huge fire in the ski lodge. But that was how we rolled in those days. We were skiing all day and night until Bob came by and woke us up with the familiar salutation,” Wake up dummy – time to leave.” I loved Bob Rose and Sally and Barley and Dixon. Great neighbors who had a “passion” for skiing and a “passion ” for kids.
People ask me today, how many ski areas I have skied in my lifetime and I tell them 107. They ask why I still ski around Western Pa when I have the opportunity to ski elsewhere and I tell them that I can’t be out west or in New England every weekend and that I like to make turns no matter where I am. There is nothing better than stepping into your bindings, pushing off, pressurizing your ankles and making that first turn of the day. No matter where you are- it is fueled by passion. Just like the golfer who steps to the first tee, gets settled, makes that nice loose swing and flushes one right out the middle of the fairway. The feeling is marvelous just like a turn. You don’t appreciate these things unless you have passion. If you don’t have it, do yourself a favor and get involved in a hobby, a sport, or another pursuit that offers you the rewards of hard work and commitment. By the way,the picture is of one of my first ski passes. That fat little kid is still doing it 51 years later. God Bless

6 thoughts on “Passion!!

  1. Janet says:

    I always have Loved your passion for life!
    You are an enthusiast and it is still rubbing off ….after 24 years! Keep up the good work Dear!
    Love you!

  2. Cuz-I-L says:

    Bravo on the ski pass pic and the passion entry! A passion for anything:skiing, dancing, painting, cooking, writing, whatever…blessed to have one…if not…never to know that born in the heart, built from the core, fueled by a love that courses through the veins, pumped straight from the heart, fire in the belly…well…that’s an emptiness that you and I can’t fathom Paddy Mac!

    • McCloskey, Pat says:

      Thanks Lynne. Passion- indeed we have it. Pass the link on to your dad so he can subscribe. If you hit the button to the left of the blog, you can subscribe. I am having a blast with this.

  3. Mark Hutchinson says:

    Pat! Loved your rant on passion! Its wonderful that old farts like you and I still love the simple act of pointing them downhill! Its great to ski with a fellow ski addict and soulmate who understands the “rush” that is obtained from a wonderful day on the slopes. Just went back to work after a wonderful week in which i skiied 5 days at Killington and 2 at pico. Conditions by the way, are good to exellent! Love your blog!

  4. Lisa Tourek says:

    Good memories Pat. Bob Rose’s runny eggs…. Barley’s mystery sandwiches in the warming hut…. boys in the basement, girls upstairs on one floor and parents on the other. People can’t believe it but it was fun- and our life. We were truly raised by a village.

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