Should you go skiing today? Here's what the math says.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home, ruminating over whether I not I really felt up to going skiing that coming Sunday. I had already logged somewhere between 50-60 days of backcountry skiing this winter, had been following a pretty intense training regime since early in the year and had kept up a steady schedule of full time work and being back in school on the weekends. In short, I was tired.
Part of me really wanted to stay home, and just lay in bed. But, another part of me wanted to ski. So, I decided to let math decide. Here's what I figured out:
The average person in North America will live to 75 years old.
That adds up to 27,375 days on the Earth. At 30, that means I have somewhere less than 16425 days left to live.
Around 1/3 of that will be lost to sleep, a whopping 5475 days, leaving me with only waking 10950 days on Earth. Of that, I'll probably lose another 1/3 to work and other commitments, leaving my ledger for days left where I can go skiing on planet earth at somewhere around 5500.
Now, remember that skiing is a winter sport (most of the time), that I don't currently have the resources to spend my summers chasing snow across other continents, and that I want to reserve some of those days for climbing, I realistically probably can only ski during half of those days, leaving me with 2750 days.
Divided by the 45 years I'm supposed to live, that's only 61 days a year I can go skiing from now until science says I'm going to die...which actually isn't that bad. I'd probably be ecstatic if I could ski 60 days a year until I die. In fact, I'd probably be ecstatic if I stayed healthy enough to ski 61 days a year into my 50's, 60's and 70's.
But here's the thing, this math is all kind of bullshit. It's the kind of weird thing that a pseudo-Tony Robbins would try and shill to get you to buy their latest book on self improvement. I have no idea if I'm going to live to 75. I have no idea how many more days I'm going to get to skiing in my life. For all I know, it might only be one more, which would suck, but also means I should probably go skiing every change I get.
So yeah, I went skiing. It was great. You probably should too.