It’s been said that the best defensive backs in professional football are the ones with a very short memory. The same goes for relief pitchers in baseball.
Oh sure, they are burdened by the big touchdown play they just gave up to the speedy receiver, or the gopher ball they served to the other team’s power hitter.
But the next time they are lined up against the same receiver, or when the pitcher faces the next batter, those recently burned athletes must have the ability to immediately forget about the pain and embarrassment they just suffered and focus on the next challenge, lest they be burned again. Maybe it’s because the thrill of making a big interception or throwing a game-winning strikeout is so great that they choose instead to focus on those moments instead of what just happened.
Some folks are amazed by athletes who have this ability, but I’m not. And I’m guessing, if you think about it, you’re not either.
We’re snowmobilers. We’re used to suffering, too. But the highs in our sport are also so tremendous that we somehow develop a short memory when it comes to the less-desirable times.
In fact, right now, you very well may be a perfect example of such memory lapses as you page through this season premier issue of Snow Goer. Last winter was the third-warmest winter on record in the U.S., and that was exacerbated by drier-than-normal conditions to create a horrid winter for snow-lovers in the vast majority of the Snowbelt. Yuck.
But the best part? It’s summer as I write this, and I’m already starting to hear some sled talk about next season!
Riders are planning trips. Message board traffic is picking up with chatter about sleds. Folks are wearing their Arctic Cat T-shirts to the lake, driving their pickup truck with the Ski-Doo sticker on the rear window and stopping by dealerships to chat. The reaction to sled-related topics on snowgoer.com and on our Facebook page brings a quick and heavy response. Yeah, some conversations or forum posts include a “boy, did last winter stink” comment here or there. But most often it soon shifts to an optimistic discussion of what could happen this coming winter.
Like the aforementioned jocks, we choose to remember the great rides: the joy of the perfect trails, the trip to the overlook, the powder-filled meadow or the memories we made with family or friends. The payoff from those days is so great that somehow we forget about last winter, kind of. Yeah, of course we actually do remember last winter, but most choose not to dwell on it. It will snow again, and when it does, it’s going to be great.
Soon it will be September, and we’ll kick off the “unofficial start to winter” at the Haydays grass drags and swap meet in the Upper Midwest with tens of thousands of friends. Soon thereafter, we’ll kick it off in the Northeast with thousands more at the Big East Snowmobile and Powersports Show in Syracuse, New York, (Oct. 5-7) before going west to celebrate at the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Expo in Denver (Oct. 12-14) and the Snowmobile USA shows in Wisconsin and Michigan.
At each of those shows, and countless other expos, grass drags, swap meets and other events across the Snowbelt, enthusiastic snowmobilers will gather and the momentum will keep building as the temperatures outside creep lower and lower.
When we’re making new and great snowmobiling memories next winter, somehow the grief of waiting for snow and cold last winter will be squeezed out of our heads.
We’re snowmobilers, and having a selective memory is a part of our adapted DNA.