BRECKENRIDGE – Nick Pohl began snowboarding at age 12. A decade later, he’s still working at the sport that gives him satisfaction just by progressing.
Growing up in Reading, Pa., Pohl fell in love with the snowsport, an activity he complements with skateboarding. Deciding he wasn’t interested in going to college right away or pursuing a 9-to-5 career job, he found work at Steamboat three years ago.
“Then I saw a 411 spotlight (snowboarding video) on Breckenridge’s terrain park,” Pohl said. “The next year, I headed here.”
It’s hard to describe why he loves snowboarding, he said. He can spend an weekend working on a trick just for the sense of achievement when he masters it. But it’s more than tricks – he likes freeriding and the progression he feels year to year.
“It gives you a challenge in life,” he said.
In Summit County, he’s found joy in more than snowboarding. Pohl said he likes that people here appreciate alternative lifestyles. He likes the slower pace and fewer people. And the weather beats East Coast humidity hands down, he said.
Pohl said he knows long-time residents might be frustrated with growth in the mountains, but he sees the impacts on Summit County as part of a larger problem. “People are the problem,” he said, and what the world needs is to take a hard look at its mindset.
It’s the third millennium of the modern era, Pohl said, yet people continue to have multitudes of children, walk around in fur coats and live by goals that might not be appropriate anymore. That’s another reason he likes Summit County so much – it’s not uncommon to meet single 30- and 40-year-olds without children who have chosen a non-traditional path and pursue what they love.
“I understand why growth upsets people,” Pohl said. “But we have to change our way of thinking.”
Pohl isn’t sure how long he’ll stay in Summit County. It depends on his family (he has a younger brother and sister in Pennsylvania). It depends on how his snowboarding progresses. He visits his native state in the summer, but the winter keeps calling him back.
“It’s one of those things that never get old,” he said. “You don’t know what it is inside that keeps you trying. It’s just one of those things.”
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or email@example.com.
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