Turning 100 years old in itself is an accomplishment. For George Jedenoff, turning 100 was as he put it “just a number.” What was most important to Jedenoff on his 100 birthday yesterday July 5 was to celebrate it skiing with friends and family.
George Jedenoff has been skiing Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta/Snowbird) every year since 1960 and yesterday Snowbird Resort helped George fulfill a lifelong goal of making turns on his 100th birthday. Snowbird even groomed a patch of snow for the special occasion.
“I can’t thank Ski Utah or Snowbird Resort enough today for allowing me this opportunity,” said Jedenoff. “Alta and Snowbird have been an important part of my life and to be up here making turns on this momentous occasion is a dream.”
At the age of 43, Jedenoff learned to ski and claims it was the best decision he ever made because of the life lessons and achievements that it brought him.
Skiing with Jedenoff for his century milestone caused me to reflect on the lessons George and skiing has taught me through the years.
1. Committing to a lifestyle that you enjoy – If and when you find a passion in your life, don’t ever quit on it. Unless something in your physical life prevents you from pursuing that passion, you should follow that path until you cannot anymore.
“I am an engineer by trade,” said Jedenoff. “The properties that make engineering work can be found in skiing. When you move and position your ski to work in harmony with the body you can find the joy and success skiers have on any level. Like machines, they run and do their job until they cannot anymore. This is the same thing with activities we enjoy in life. Enjoy the challenges you are given in life.”
2. Build Friendships that last – Whatever you choose to follow in life, pursue them with enthusiasm but never lose sight of sharing that enthusiasm with friends that encourage you to be your best and will always stand by your side.
“My friend Junior and I have been skiing for 51 years together,” said Jedenoff. “We teach each other and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with skiing. There is strength in camaraderie.”
3. Commit to taking care of your physical self – No matter what the activity is, taking care of the physical body will allow you to pursue the passions your mind dreams about.
“Every morning I get up and do something to be physical,” said Jedenoff. “Even if it is only for fifteen minutes, I make sure I commit myself to it daily. Making good healthy choices in life and committing them to being a habit requires dedication and self control and those are good attributes to have in your life.”
4. Always be positive – Every day you are afforded new opportunities in life. They may be few in number or they may be plenty, but each day presents new opportunities. One should always look to seize those opportunities when they are in line with the goals and values you have chosen for your life.
“You only have one life to live,” said Jedenoff. “Never let the negative things in your life outweigh the positives. Always fine the happiness in life. If you have problems, consider them an opportunity. Go out and lick em and don’t let those problems beat you down. Approach those challenges as opportunities to overcome them and grow.”
5. Last and most important lesson I learned from George was to Never Ever Stop Skiing!