11.28.2016
wellness

How (and Why) Snowboarding Got Me to Stop Smoking Weed

There was a time when I simply couldn’t imagine not blazing weed. In fact, it seemed downright ridiculous to think that there would ever be a time when I wouldn’t want to get high. Whether exploring nature or larfing out watching The Simpsons, there was (and is) an undeniable pleasure that comes with smoking a little reefer. And at this time, everyone who said otherwise was full of shit. But then I discovered a reality that hadn’t existed for me before. Quite frankly, it showed that these prior thoughts of abstinence were mere speculation without any real experience to support it — the highest form of ignorance. When this dawned on me, any further facilitation of ignorance seemed a bitch move at best.

In some respects, a few puffs before strapping in is awesome. How do you make one of the best feelings in the world better? Add weed. It’s insane; I get chills merely thinking about it. There is no denying the exhilaration of sinking into a line filled with deep powder while baked. The butterflies of dropping into a massive halfpipe after a doobie and scaring the shit out of yourself as you play with g-force and gravity is a thrill beyond words. The total suspension of time itself as you flow down the mountain in the most natural state you might ever visit.

And weed did exactly that for me when I rode — it made it better. Or at least I thought it did.

And weed did exactly that for me when I rode — it made it better. Or at least I thought it did. But as I began reflecting more on these individualized experiences and took a closer look, these highs seemed so temporary, and they were. I started thinking: if I have come so dependent on this “thing” to have these peak experiences, then what happens when it’s no longer available? Is snowboarding less fun? Is hanging out with your friends boring? Is life as it is not enough?

I believe that we are inherently endowed with everything we need to live a happy and satisfying life, provided we supply our body and mind with the right kind of energy. I have also always believed snowboarding is about freedom. So when I found myself feeling that I needed to smoke weed in order to get the most out of it, I started to question what was really going on.

Have you ever looked at some of your own habits and felt that they might hold you back? Or that you are bound by them? Are you convinced that you need this or that to enjoy yourself? For instance, do you need some beers to enjoy yourself at the bar? Or do you need coffee first thing in the morning to get going?

It is personal and subjective, but the thought of a dependency on anything external to enjoy myself or feel at ease seems like the ultimate disrespect to life. Casual use, experimenting, and general good times aside, when you smoke weed every day, or drink every weekend, or slam espressos every morning, it seems like you’re removing yourself from the intrinsic raw-ness of fresh, unadulterated experiences. To me, whether it is steeped in physical or mental motives, there is a more substantive reasoning behind your use: laziness or a behavior bred from fear, fear of dealing with what is in front of you.

When you get down to it, to dilute experiences or feelings with drugs, legal or illegal, prescribed or self-medicating is just another ploy of distraction. Without distraction, we find clarity, and with clarity comes insight. It is not always fun or easy, but it is REAL.That is what I’m after: the genuine draft.

Free and clear.

By now you probably get that it wasn’t even the weed that was the most concerning. I had a wussy habit by any standard. It was the realization that I was wasting time not getting to truly experience life as it is — to really know it.

No more, though. I won’t allow myself to be a slave to anything. Pacifying an unhealthy behavior pattern with any and all form of justification is nothing more than weak-ass denial. If there is one thing that I find sad it is this society’s utter lack of will power and the perpetuation of ignorance geared towards a kind of systematic de-evolution. It’s this psychological imprinting that I was subjecting my existence to. I was basically insisting I needed glasses and all the while I had perfect 20/20 vision.

I am grateful for this insight and however it manifested itself, because from there it was easy. I never smoked again; a simple movement of my arm and hand that I stopped making.

Now, let me be clear: I couldn’t care less if you smoke, if you really think that is what works for you. I am down for it and all the benefits research claims it presents. This was really just another learning experience that snowboarding gave me — weed was a distraction and detraction, thereby it wasn’t and isn’t for me.

So, this essay really isn’t about the weed at all. It’s about getting away from the things that hold you back, whether it be an unhealthy diet, a destructive relationship, or lame patterns like taking pleasure in talking shit all the time. Everyone is their own person and has a right to live how they like. However, if there ever comes a time when the lack of authenticity and unsatisfactory repetitiveness makes you sick to your stomach, as it did for me, the best feeling in the world is conquering that paradigm and uncovering a whole new reality. Instead of being a subordinate to outside influence, choose autonomy.

This article was originally written by Nate Deschenes for The Inertia.

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