There are two kinds of skiing-- hard work, straining, easily tiring, thinking yourself down the mountain, or effortless, easy, natural schussing, where you see the mountain a whole different way. And in life the same is true-- some postures cause pain and ineffective hard work. Others elevate you to success almost effortlessly.
I went skiing today-- downhill, double diamond, on ungroomed newly fallen snow.
So I hit the slopes with hope, enthusiasm but also concern. Will my knee, sore regularly, function well enough. I'm wearing an over the counter neoprene brace to give it some added protection.
I approach the first ski trip of the year with growing trepidation, now that I'm 56, and so many friends have stopped already-- because of knees, fear, traumatic falls, etc. My trepidation is about not being able to enjoy what I've enjoyed since I started skiing at the late age of 25. My kids learned by five or six.
We hit the slopes and I'm a little sloppy. I work too hard which causes a bit of a burn in the lower legs. We do a second run and I start to find my groove. I lean forward a bit more, knees bent a bit more and suddenly, I'm floating over moguls, effortlessly gliding hundreds of yards. It's back. I love it.
It's still a lot of work. Let's face it, at 230 lbs. I'm overweight, even though I work out and run three miles a work out, three to four times a week. So, after skiing 200 or 300 yards downhill, over at least some bumps, I'm breathing heavy. My lower legs are burning, but not bad, and a short rest revives me. I take off again.
There are moments when I'm really in the groove and literally, seeing the mountain is a different experience then. I am in such a greater level of control than at other moments, when I am trying to THINK my way down the slope.
Somehow, there must be analogies to these two kinds of skiing-- analogies in the world of life, of politics. Sometimes I get into postures that make me work harder, less effectively, tire easier, lose motivation... and sometimes I do it all right and the process just flows effortlessly.
Now, how do I figure out how, in work, in activism, to stay with the latter? It's so much more pleasant to simply cruise the slopes effortlessly, feeling in total control.
By the end of the day, the runs were so much better, easier, faster, with greater mastery. If only we could do the same in life and work.
I turned in for the day after a total of 16 runs, all down diamonds and double diamond maximally challenging trails, tired but very satisfied.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
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