I work out at the Durango Community Recreation Center in the morning, and most of my fellow exercisers won't say hello
or engage in any conversation. They're so crabby! Yet when I use the Animas River Trail in the evening, virtually every
walker, jogger and bike rider smiles and says hello. What's the difference? Exercise is exercise, right? Sign me, Ann
Not all heartbeat-raising activities are created equal.
For some, a fitness regimen must deploy time and resources efficiently. In other words, one must not use more energy
than necessary in the effort to burn energy.
This usually means being indoors on a cardio machine while watching a disturbingly perky TV news bobblehead deliver the
daily cavalcade of disaster updates and celebrity gossip.
For others, exercise includes something to feed the soul as well as challenge one's muscles. Fresh air is just as
important as being at one's VO2 max.
For River Trail users, it's the journey, not the destination.
I think it's that the morning people are totally stressed out," observed one long-time Rec Center worker, who begged
It's like they don't actually like working out but are addicted to the routine. They are resentful but can't
As another wag put it, Rec Center users' lack of friendliness can be explained in animal terms. It's the difference
between gerbils and free-range chickens: One runs endlessly on the wheel, the other struts aimlessly in the
Durango Mountain Resort's spring sale on season passes targets seniors with a significant price hike. For the 2009-10
season, our Golden Pass was $99, but next season, it went up to $149. What gives? We're a little concerned. - Senior
Concerned? Puh-leez. Whining isn't dignified at any age.
C'mon, folks. If you're age 70-plus and still hit the slopes, you should be filled with thanks and gratitude, not
entitlement and suspicion.
Not to be mean, but today's seniors, in general, are the most well-off and secure generation ever.
You're drawing full Social Security. Chances are your former employer had a pension plan. You have Medicare/Medicaid
You have the resources to retire in Durango, one of the truly greatest places on Earth. Your house is probably paid
And you have all winter to ski any day you choose, unlike the local working stiffs who have to use a sick day for
midweek powder, fight the weekend crowds and pay full boat.
Downhill skiing is not an entitlement program.
So what if your ski pass is 50 bucks more next year? Big deal. Seniors are getting a huge bargain. Huge.
Yes, a Golden Pass for skiers age 70 or better will cost $150 for the 2010-11 season, according to Judy Wachob, vice
president of village services for Durango Mountain Resort and the longtime chief of ticketing.
But look at what seniors get for the money," she added.
Wachob pulled up some data on the ticketing computer. Seniors with a Golden Pass ski an average of 20 times each
season. At 150 bucks, that's $7.45 per day. Now that's a real deal," she said.
The Golden Pass is even less expensive than the lowest-priced kids pass, she added.
Plus, seniors get all the perks of full-price adult season pass holders, including three free days of skiing at each of
seven different resorts in Colorado, New Mexico and Montana. ... Plus 10 free days at Kirkwood, Calif. ... Plus
half-price lift tickets at Alta, Arizona Snowbowl and Crested Butte. ... Plus friends and family ticket privileges.
Instead of raising a stink, local senior skiers should raise their wine glasses high with a hearty toast to good
health, great fortune and the incredible bargain from your hometown mountain.
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request
anonymity if you remember to put out the hummingbird feeders this week. Oh, and pay your taxes, too.