The HA!! : The Perspective Of Schuss

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The HA!! : The Perspective Of Schuss

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Time for “The HA!!” – This is my mini-series on life lessons I’ve gained through my humbling sports endeavors… I LOVE sports but genuinely suck at most of them, and, therefore, I’m a “HA = Humbled Athlete.” Please check out the other posts in this series at THE HA!! page.

It’s been said that a humble person keeps their talents, gifts and capabilities in proper perspective. (Click To Tweet)

Sports have always been an outlet, or playground, if you will, for me. Since I’m not really great at any one sport, I don’t have the difficulty of having to overcome an ego or pride when it comes to being top dog. I just don’t have all that much game when in athletics… there’s simply nothing to be proud of.

Which way to go?

Which way to go?

My passion for travel and the mountains lead to the pursuit of a winter sport that I can’t seem to get enough of… skiing. As I progressed in this activity I realized that my natural duck-footed stance makes skiing with both feet straight and perpendicular utterly unnatural. It’s more than unnatural, I would call it downright painful to have to orient my feet in the proper position to move gracefully down a slope all day. A switch to snowboarding helped keep me on the easier (green) slopes and provided relief to my aching knees. I would much rather “schuss,” or fly straight down an easier slope, than struggle to keep my speed moderated on a more difficult one.

Going fast on a ski slope brings the possibility of injury closer to home for me and, therefore, I am overcome with an emotion that I learned early on in my skiing days… fear. After a few serious wipe outs while trying to advance to more difficult slopes, combined with stories of people dying when they made solid contact with the immovable objects we refer to as trees, got me thinking…

Fear has a way of keeping me humble and putting things into perspective.

There is a moderating effect exiting a ski lift and making a decision on which runs to take back to the bottom of the mountain. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. Understanding rational fear seems to always boil down to one core issue: Control. A rational fear is one that I can face because I have the ability to influence my internal dialogue. (Click To Tweet) Conversely, an irrational fear is one that isn’t based on reality… these are beyond the scope of The HA!!

If I’m at the top of the mountain and thinking about which run to take, I can choose either the runs named Elevator Shaft, Brain Damage, Steeper Than Jesus, or The Widowmaker (double black diamond runs) or the tamer ones… Zippidy Do Da, Bunny Hop or Groomed Corduroy. What’s in a name? More than you might imagine, when it comes to ski runs. Conquering the mountain for me is simply having fun schussing on the easy slopes, and living to tell the tale.

That’s not for you?

Instead, maybe go Off-Piste today…

Wait a second…

“Off-Piste” ??

Yea, that’s just ski lingo for the backcountry. Speaking of which, the half-pipe might be a great place to chill a hot mood… (just sayin’)…

To chill… yep, there is another rational fear in the back country… the big chill… remember the movie? Stick that one in your Netflix que, we’re referring to the avalanche here… being buried in an avalanche would be chilling!

OK, so we’ve reached the bottom of the hill… back to the gondola for the last ski run of the day…

Then what? Well, everyone that didn’t end up with a torn ACL that day has one final destination…

Apres-Ski. Yep, where we’re all thankful for another safe day of schuss on the slopes. Stick with the greens and you’ll keep fear in perspective… and live to apres-ski another day…

Is there an activity that you enjoy that God uses fear to help keep you humble?


Carol Peterson

January 31, 2013at 12:21 pm

I love your distinction between fear that keeps you humble and irrational fear. Irrational fear is something I struggle with deeply and my focus this year–courage–is aimed at that.

A fear that keeps me humble is snorkeling. I have a horrifying and completely irrational fear of deep water. But the incredible beauty of the life and geology under the surface makes me go back for more.

    chris vonada

    January 31, 2013at 7:25 pm

    I love snorkeling too but have no real urge to go down really deep. I remember when the movie “Jaws” came out, nobody would enter the surf all summer!

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