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.
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.
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.