skiing in the trees
It’s winter and if you’re not going to sit around and complain about the cold and snow, you’d better get out in it and take some fresh air into your lungs. For me, getting out means hitting the slopes and last week I caught a day with a foot of fresh powder.
I love to ski all over the mountain, but mostly I like to ski the bumps or the glades. Don’t get me wrong, I love to mix in a cruiser every now and again to give the legs a rest and see how fast my skis can take me.
But I find that I am most attracted to the challenging terrain. Yes, I like the workout and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with technical skiing… But what I really love is that when you are skiing in the trees, there’s no time to think. There’s no time to process decisions. Taking the time to ask yourself “should I go left…?” will get you a nose full of bark. The adventure requires you to just connect to the present moment and let the path unfold second by second.
In this state of “no mind” I notice that I feel truly alive and connected. It’s the same feeling I get on the basketball court when I drive into a crowd, with no plan of how I am going to get to the hoop, just the intention to do so, and then acting and adjusting in every millisecond as the path opens up before me. Somehow the ball makes it into the hoop (well, lots of the time it does) just as I always make it through the woods.
No matter what the activity, I encourage you to have someplace in your life where you regularly leave your thinking mind behind and fully engage in the now. I know of no better way to refresh the spirit and clear the mind. Works even better if you’re working up a sweat at the same time.
Dance. Play. Surf. Swim. Meditate. Stretch. Breathe. Run. Whatever.
But move your body and get out of your mind.
You will feel better for having done so…