A day in the Alps
From father to skier in a few steps
Every father knows that there is only one way to get out of his children's room late at night or early in the morning: on tiptoe, one step at a time, without making a sound. He presses the handle millimeter by millimeter, crossing his fingers so that it doesn't squeak. If the floor is parquet, he moves with the grace of a cat.
Yannick is used to sneaking out of his children's room in the morning. Because in addition to being a father, Yannick Boissenot is a skier. When you live in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc, adventure awaits you on your doorstep: you don't have to travel thousands of kilometers to find snow in the New Zealand Alps or to ski the iconic Japanese powder on the island of Hokkaido. When you live in Chamonix, between October and July, everything is within reach, you just have to find the time.
It's all a question of time
And any father knows that with two children, time can be scarce. The choices we make, the way we decide to use our time, define us as human beings. Our identity is truly ours when we have the means to live it: you have to ski to be a skier, and to be a father, you have to love your children, play with them and teach them what is important to you. Our identity lies in the things and the people we dedicate ourselves to.
Yannick goes down to the kitchen. Léa has already prepared a cup of steaming coffee for him, which he swallows with satisfaction. "Don't be late," she reminds him gently. Yannick nods while devouring a few slices of bread with jam and putting on his socks. "Of course, Lea, don't worry. I'll be home early this afternoon. We'll bake a cake and get the sleds out."
Léa smiles as she watches Yannick prepare his backpack and grab his skis. She follows him with her eyes while he goes to the door, sends her a kiss and continues to observe her from the window, her face blurred by the breath of her breathing that condenses the biting air. It is not easy to construct one's identity. It's not easy to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. And once you understand it, it is not easy to give up those parts of yourself so hard built.
It's all about choices
But sometimes you don't have to give up. Sometimes you just have to live in the right place, where it's possible to be a good father and a good skier, to juggle between the kids' bedroom and the Argentière glacier, between the garden swing and the Aiguille du Midi. Let's choose to live in the right place, and make the effort to do what it takes to continue to be ourselves, without giving up any of the things that matter to us.
Because in the end, the famous Japanese powder and the New Zealand Alps are not so important. It's the feelings that are important: the feeling of riding safely down the slopes with perfect turns, and the feeling of taking care of the people you love.
Yannick accelerates his pace. In the distance to the east, the sun is discovering its first rays.