"What then is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play."
- Plato, Greek Philosopher
She was a tough chick from North Vancouver - Lynn Valley to be precise. And there was nothing in her background that suggested she might be interested in skiing. Music maybe. A little jazz, a little rock & roll - that, at least, was part of the family tradition. But sliding down the mountain on two sticks? No way.
Still, there was something about the sport that intrigued her. "There was this ski program at Mt. Seymour offered through the school," explains the gal they used to call "Punchy." "So I saved up all my babysitting money and signed up." She stops. Smiles. "I think that was in Grade 6..."
She'd never been on skis before. Never felt the feeling of sliding downhill on snow. But she took to it like a... well, let's hear it from her. "I remember the sense of freedom it gave me," she says. "I loved it. You know, being with friends, being allowed to be silly. It was fun."
But it's not like she felt skiing was going to change her life or anything. "It was an amusement park sensation. Know what I mean? Like going to the local rink or something. It's not something I saw as part of my everyday life."
But things change.
Sherry Newstead Boyd is celebrating her 40 th birthday this week. A resident of Whistler for the last 20 years - star snowboarder, stunt person, go-go girl, entrepreneur, born-again skier and now mom of two toddlers - the five-foot-nothing dynamo from Lynn Valley is approaching probably the most dramatic anniversary an active person has to face. Forty years old. Ah, the chimera of passing time...
It's the kind of rite of passage that many Whistlerites prefer to let slide by. The kind that reminds each of us of our oh-so-human limits. Questions start to haunt the back recesses of your mind. What have I done with my life? What have I accomplished? Is the world a better place for my participation? And where do I go now?
It's a birthday that can send the mind spinning into an eternal regression of "what ifs." A moment in time when everything gets put into question. Where your very existence is held up before the window of your soul. Have I done enough? Did I make my mark?
It's a birthday, in other words, that can defeat all but the bravest among us. But not this gal. And not this time. With typical Sherryan aplomb, Ms Boyd has decided to embrace this milestone with full energy and humour. "It is a big deal," she admits. "Turning 40 is scary - for sure." She laughs long and loud. "But what are you going to do about it? Hide? Lie? Heck no! Let's party."