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Forever young

Summit Daily/ Adrian DiUbaldo
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COPPER MOUNTAIN – Alan di Paulo has the type of boyishly handsome features that make aging models freakishly envious. His chiseled face and wiry frame give him the look of a young, adventurous frontiersman, and as for his silvery hair, that probably pushes his age back to 35 at most? … OK, 45?”Alan di Paulo – 52 – snowboard bum,” the Breckenridge resident recently identified himself. Di Paulo had just finished a half day of riding at Copper Mountain, one that took him from the casual grade of Little Burn to the deep powder of Union Meadows to the center of his “Zen frame,” what he described as that “very relaxed (state), even though I am in double-diamond bumps ducking tree limbs.” Clearly he drinks his snowboarding from a serious cup – he firmly believes that “the bumps in the middle are created by fear, the bumps on the edge are created by joy” – but can he really be 52? “I decided early on that I needed today’s health more than tomorrow’s money,” he explained of his enduring sprightliness. ” … (Snowboarding more days than not) keeps me sane, it keeps me looking forward to tomorrow. It all comes down to everyone’s gotta wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’m gonna get up, or I’m not.’ These are things that have got me flying out of bed since I was 16.”

There are others, too. Dave Simmons, a brewmaster at Pug Ryan’s, skate skied more than 35 kilometers in honor of his 35th birthday last week; Jared Mazlish, co-founder of the Fat-ypus skis, is a 39-year-old who spends the better part of his days looking for hearty, untouched “pow;” Chmurny Cain, longtime manager at the Breckenridge Brewery, plays just as hard today as she did a few decades ago. Just what does aging mean in a resort world that thrives by making over-burdened vacationers feel young again?”I think it has everything to do with not making your career your number one goal in life,” said Cain, 38. “People ask what you do. Well, I snowboard and tele. Oh, what do I do for a living? I’m a restaurant manager.”Such an approach to life – viewing a job merely as a means to an end – is not laziness or unworldliness, added Mazlish. It’s simply putting your happiness, what keeps you springing out of bed each morning, at the top of your priorities.”I took a solid ten years where I avoided career thoughts,” he said, explaining that he skied on extreme tours instead. “I kept thinking, ‘How much longer can I pull off this not-real life?’ Then I realized that my life here is real, and the question became how can I maintain it?”

His answer was to create the widest ski on the market, the Fat-ypus, along with his longtime fellow ski bum, Dave Gelhaar. In the end, Mazlish’s passion for skiing had fueled his profession, and in return his profession could now fuel his passion.As Dave Simmons, the brewmaster at Pug Ryan’s described the logic, “Most every job up here is to support addictions. Beyond being outdoors, I love beer, so why not make beer?”Or why not drink it? Mazlish, Cain and Simmons all said that aging in the midst of Summit’s party scene keeps their vitality astir, although sometimes it means taking one fewer shot or drinking two fewer pints at the bar each night.”The nightlife is definitely part of it as well,” said Cain. “You’re not 9-to-5 and then home eating dinner in front of CBS. We’re not doing that. We’re not driven by what most of the world is driven by. We’re driven by friends and being outside and being with people in a social setting, instead of being on the couch.”That mentality seems to extend from the youngest of Summit’s community to its oldest, like Jay G. Brossman, a 76-year-old Frisco resident who skis at least 250 days a year. Brossman moved out to Breck eight years ago because he was tired of sacrificing ski days to airplanes. Today he said he’s never felt younger and, in true forever-young fashion, added that he married his longtime sweetheart at the tender age of 74.



“If you sit down, you die when you’re my age,” Brossman said in a jaunty voice that, like his athleticism, belies his true age. The Summit Senior Center is filled with active elders like him, men and women in their later years who still play in the snow and ride motorcycles and sip from the deep spring of life, the Summit County fountain of youth.”I’m not saying out here you’re gonna live forever,” Brossman finished, “but you can live the good life out here.”Andrew Tolve can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13629, or at atolve@summitdaily.com


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