Monday, March 7, 2011

Skiing and not skiing

I took last Friday off from work. The Man and I went to Sunday River ski resort in Maine and we stayed with our former boss W and his wife D. They have an absurdly large and comfortable condo right on the mountain. By"right on the mountain" I mean you take your skis to the back door of their place, put them on your feet and ski for 10 seconds to the lift. It's awesome.

The Man, W, and D are all expert skiers who get lots of practice. I ski about once a year. But I'm not terrible, and I am always enthusiastic... especially after two beers with lunch!

This is what the visibility was like there on Saturday. You couldn't see more than about a hundred feet in front of your skis. For me, this just let me narrow my focus to what was directly in front of me at the time, something I have a problem with - not focusing on many steps, just on one. It was hard to distinguish shadows from actual snow, but I did ok...
I learned some important things that I think apply to the rest of my life so I'll share them.

1. Bend your knees while you're turning. I always attack things from a position of tenseness (which is my body's idea of readiness), but I keep learning that if I relax into what I'm doing, I'm much better prepared for the reality to come.
2. Keep your body facing down the mountain, even if part of you is turning or attending to something else. I need to continue to focus on the goal at hand - getting down the mountain, even if there are smaller tasks along the way. I tend to get caught up in small details which can overwhelm me, but they really don't have to.
3. Have fun - even if you're screwing up or falling down. I do not have to know what I'm doing, or even look like I know what I'm doing. If it's fun, I can just DO IT. I hate looking like a fool, looking like I can't do something, or looking like just getting ahead is a struggle. I have to give up trying to master things before I have fun. The learning can be fun. And it was! I had a such a great time on Saturday and I skied better, and more fearlessly, than ever. ADVENTURE.

It also helps that this guy was waiting for me at the top of every ridge to make sure I was still in one piece :)
Being outside and doing physical things is one of the best ways I can spend my time. I should do it more often. We ended the day by doing a black diamond run down through the trees and it was beautiful and serene and not easy, but a lovely way to end.
Sunday we didn't end up skiing because there was hard rain and the snow was kind of icy and cruddy. The Man still went out because he is hardcore and a nutcase.

Leslie: Hey - how was it out there?
Man: Awesome.
L: But you're soaked!
M: Yeah, I guess it wasn't awesome, but it was fine. No one was out there, so I started on Carumba (a run that is a double black diamond straight down the mountain and covered in moguls).
L: Oh. So you took it easy?
M: Yup.

Anyway. Other than the fantastic weekend parts I am still sick and have hardly gotten any sleep for all of my coughing. Luckily for the Man, his snoring drowns out some of the coughing so he can still sleep...


Scarlet Lily said...

I also have issues with #3.

Just Another Idealist said...

I really like your life lessons gleaned from skiing. #1 is one I'm focusing on right now, too. Physically and mentally.