“Hello. My name is Erik Jensen, and I’m a telemark skier.”
The first step is admitting powerlessness over your addiction. Feels good to get that off my chest. Years of feeling the need to rationalize my behavior, to explain to others what I was doing.
"No, my bindings aren't broken," I mutter under my breath after being accosted from the lift again.
“Yup, you do need to get a whole new set of boots and bindings,” I explain for the umpteenth time as if I’m cultivating two disparate sets of gear though I haven’t bought new alpine equipment in nearly a decade.
“Yah it’s more work, but it’s good for going into the backcountry,” I used to say. Still never been.
Telemark skiing has never been an alternative to me. Since I began telemarking nearly two decades ago and exclusively telemarking nearly a decade ago, it's been one thing to me. Skiing.
So when CJ Coccia, fellow Telemark Colorado co-founder, approached me with the idea to cultivate a Colorado-based telemark skiing community, I immediately jumped on the idea. The thought of meeting like-minded individuals, finding people who also loved telemarking for the sake of telemarking was a personal turning point.
I love telemark skiing. No, I don’t want to switch to AT gear. Yes, I want to share this love with anyone who’ll listen. No, I’m not going to stop. I’m tired of apologizing. I’m not going to change.
The final step is to evangelize, to help others with your compulsion find comfort and clarity. To all you pinheads, reformed alpiners, and ex-snowboarders, I say, "Welcome to Telemark Colorado. We’re here for anyone else who shares this addiction."