Are You An Uphill Person Or A Downhill Person?

Almost all my friends are either uphill people or downhill people.


In this "there are two types of people" scenario, there are those of us who love the flow state of whooshing across the earth's surface, reacting quickly to the changes under our feet or skis or bike tires or watercraft—the Downhill People. Skiers and snowboarders, many mountain bikers, whitewater kayakers.


And then there are those of us who believe a lifelong struggle against gravity is meaningful, or healthy, or something: the Uphill People. Climbers, mountaineers, probably most hikers and trail runners.


I don't think we're opposites. I think we just have different ways of enjoying the same thing. Like if you and a friend both order big burgers at a restaurant, and your friend cuts theirs in half, and you smoosh yours with both hands in order to fit it into your mouth. Or vice versa.


I thought about this recently as I was skinning up our local ski hill. As a new-ish dad who still wants to ski, one lap there is a great winter weekday workout: 1900 feet up/down, 2.5 hours door-to-door, a little more if I go with a friend and we talk a lot.


I'm not a great skier. I'm in it for the uphill. Skiing down is convenient, and, sure, fun. But as a person who spends most of their outside time nowadays running or hiking, I know one thing: I'm an uphill person.


I have wondered if some of us change from downhill people to uphill people as we get older, or if we're all uphill or downhill for life. And then there are a few wild cards, people I can't quite pin down—even if I ask them, "Question for you: As a mountain person, if you had to pick one, would you consider yourself an uphill person or a downhill person?" they are unable to commit to one of the other. But there are only a handful of them.


I thought about making stickers a few years ago, sort of like the "26.2" stickers people put on their cars, but just saying "uphill" or "downhill." This year, I finally did it. But they only come as a pair, so then you (ideally) will give one to a friend who is the uphill to your downhill, or vice versa.

[To check out the stickers in my shop, click on the image above or click here: ]

Because we all have at least one friend who we don't totally understand, but who we want to be happy just the same.