Been outstoked lately?

John Devitt

Love is a funny emotion.  When you first meet someone you are completely infatuated with everything they do, their name is always on your lips and you cannot go a moment throughout the day without thinking of how they have consumed you with lust and infatuation.  As time goes by, eventually the relationship develops.  Trust and understanding are reached and you settle into a deep abiding love.  Occasionally you are met with those early sparks from the honeymoon period of your relationship, but now the two of you have become so intertwined, that it is part of your life, almost like breathing.  It takes time to develop that love with another person, just as it takes time to develop a true understanding, love and true ‘stoke’ for a community.

While imbibing our first egg nogs of the season, a couple friends of mine started talking about the constant “outstoking” they hear within Revelstoke.  Both of these guys have been here a few complete years and have experienced what Revelstoke has to offer on all sides.  They’ve volunteered for community organizations, they’ve joined local clubs and teams, and they love the outdoor activities the surrounding environment has to offer.  Just don’t expect them to shout their stoke out loud over Facebook every few hours.

Most people in Revelstoke are here for the outdoor environment, that’s why they live here.  They feel no need to proclaim each and every activity they are doing loudly at the pub or over social media, because it is simply part of life.  Living in Revelstoke and announcing how epic your gnar skills are is as futile as brushing your teeth and talking about how badass you are at oral hygiene.  You live in Revy, we get it: you’re super cool and some junk.

We all know the type.  You’re at the bar, telling a story about a rock climbing route you climbed earlier in the week and how much fun it was.  Enter ‘Sir One-Upper’; “What grade was it?  Oh yeah?  Cool, well anyway, I totally flashed this 14b the other day.  One handed.  In the snow.  With no protection.”  You have just been outstoked.  There’s no verifying the claim, but that’s really not the point.

My friend explained how in late October during the rains that would not end, people would be shocked and surprised that he didn’t want to go biking still.  He tells me with a laugh “Why would I want to?  The weather sucked.  It was cold and rainy.  Besides I’d been riding for like 6 months at that point.  Shit, I’d GPS’ed 600 kilometres on my mountain bike in May alone!”

The above example is what’s known as a ‘Stoke Stalemate’.  The extroverted proclamation of stoke for late October biking is nullified by the gargantuan level of kilometres demonstrated through the more introverted stoke of my friend.

Fast forward to the onset of opening day and all exaggerated hype that comes with it.  Are we stoked for opening day?  You bet!  Is it an all-consuming frenzy that hides feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty and fear of the unknown?  Only for some.

The theory goes; you over blow your stoke so all the hardcore people in Revy will believe you’re legit, and also prove to your 9-5 friends back in Toronto how much of a rebellious, migratory ski bum you are.  Eventually, if you stick around, you develop a deeper love over the ‘year one/two lustful infatuation honeymoon’, and you learn to just chill the ______ out like most of the people that live here.  Did you ride epic lines yesterday?  Yes.  Just like a few thousand other people in town.  Did you shred harder than anyone else?  Yes.  Just like a few thousand other people in town.  Has anyone else ever moved across the country and been a ski bum?  No.  You are definitely the first to pop Revelstoke’s cherry.

We’re happy you’re happy to be here and we’re happy to have you.  But living in Revel-STOKE is about learning the difference between sharing stoke, and overstoking someone.  Don’t be the latter.

“Dude how much money did you make last year?  Seriously?  Dude I totally made way more than that and way faster!  One handed.  In the snow.”

“Dude I made way less money than that.  It’s not about money.  You know?  It’s about shredding the gnar.  How many days did you shred?  Yeah, I shredded waaaay harder than that and rode about 100 epic days.  On one leg.  In the snow.”

The true dude, abides. (from the Book of Lebowski)