Why Do You Live Your Passion?

Life has been pretty good to me. I am healthy, have a loving wife and amazing kids. Plus I get to do the one thing I really enjoy. Yet each year, the last day of the season is always the saddest letdown for me. What is the ONE THING?


Skiing! Why do I stand in sub zero temperatures? Most people think brazing the onslaught of freezing winds ludicrous. It’s because skiing is my passion. I love to do it, share it with my family and best of all I’m a professionally certified ski instructor.


Teaching people this winter outdoor activity really gives me an endless rush. The look on people’s faces as they progress from novice to competence never gets old.


Skiing seems like a fairly straight forward activity. But, there is a whole complex level of physics, physiology, and psychology that challenges the instructor and torments the student.


Today at the place I teach and play, closed for the season. That means my self experimentation of the 3 P’s goes on hiatus until late next fall when the snow returns.


This year it’s worse. The real frustration occurred yesterday. Another instructor had me try their more responsive race skis. As I played, for some reason I decided to remind myself to relax with each turn. Then BAM, I broke through a boundary.


Oh, not an injurious boundary. No, this was a ZEN boundary. By relaxing with each turn I surrendered my thoughts. An artist or musician will understand what I am talking about. It was a moment of being a vessel of turning creation. The skis, the snow, and I were effortlessly dancing.


The other instructor, who lent me the skis, was following behind. When I finally stopped at the bottom, I had a sense of totally amazing exhilaration. Looking at him, we both laughed. While riding up the lift, we joked it was better than sex because it lasted longer and I didn’t feel a need to take a nap.


We both analyzed my movement pattern. (That’s what instructors do.) From his vantage point he noticed advanced ability beyond what he had seen in me before. In ski terms I developed enormous edge angles with solid railroad tracks that never slid nor diverged. Since I had been skiing longer than him, he usually asks me for feedback and has learned much from my so-called wisdom.


From my vantage point, my movements had never been easier or as precise. There was a flow of forces that were not proportional to my input.  The less I put into the movement pattern the greater the result. I played with medium and short radius turns then back again. It truly was playful. I was having so much fun that I wished I had more terrain to ski on before stopping.


Well, today, with my skis, I discovered the same technique works. My skis are much longer and more of downhill ski. While I have to be more patient, the results of smooth turn transitions were the same.


I have to admit though; I like the playfulness of a race slalom ski better. Over the years, I was a strong proponent that for most skiers, equipment doesn’t make a better skier. I am a very solid skier no matter what equipment I use. I still believe that.


Skiing is still about the 3 P’s. If you can’t get those figured out, no equipment can change you. It’s all about what goes on inside. The ski becomes an extension that connects the person to the snow.


The physics of the terrain determine how the physiology engages the ski. These are the easiest to master. However, the Psychology is the biggest obstacle to overcome. Bigger than jumps, bigger than a mogul field and bigger than the steepest back bowl.


But for now, because the season officially ends, I must wait until next season to see if I can recreate that turning agility. The thing is, it never takes more than the first run to find out. That’s one of the reasons I love skiing.


To make this years end even more difficult, on this last day, the sky was cloudless blue, the temperature started out in the 20’s (F) and moved into the upper 40’s. My kids were with me and they kept skiing better and better themselves. The birds were chirping, the air was clean and I felt so full, content and happy.


If I fail to reclaim that agility, I will always have a perfect moment that reminds me of how grand life can be when I simply relax and enjoy the most valuable gifts that life has to offer. Friends, family, and nature. (Yeah, skiing? Ah, that too!)


This feeling of Zen is called being in the zone. For the rest of my professional time I am a Life, Career, and Business Evangelist/Coach.  I teach my clients how to get into their ZONE. If frustration is overwhelming you. If work is endless deadlines and continues angst, then you might want to contact a coach.


As much as I love skiing, helping someone transformed into their ZONE is a bigger rush. It’s a science and most definitely an art. But no matter how challenging a day may become, it never gets old. That’s why I live my passion. What about you?

2 Responses to “Why Do You Live Your Passion?”

  1. […] Original post by eventronics […]

  2. The season may have officially ended, but it never really ends. Some people just stop skiing for six months… A touring rig (and perhaps a plane ticket) will lead you straight back to nirvana.

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