You may not think that skiing and fitting into skinny jeans has any similarity (other than the fact that skiing is exercise.)
However, there is a huge lesson from skiing, surfing, rock climbing and any other outdoor sport that we simply must learn if we hope to be fit and live free.
I started skiing when I was pretty young. Back in the days of ugly snow suits, strait skis and rear entry boots.
I wasn’t much of a skier for many years, though try as I might. I spent many ski school and after school programs trying to fight the mountain and tame gravity. I viewed the forces of nature as an opposition that I had to fight against during each run.
I’m a slow learner. It took me many years to learn that you can’t fight mother nature and win. You don’t ski by fighting the mountain. You can’t surf by fighting the wave. You don’t scale the cliff by fighting the rock.
Yet our fitness culture is filled with sayings and ideas that mother nature has it in for us and if we are going to be fit we have to fight against her with everything we have. We have to trick our muscles and fight our genetics. We must battle cravings and resist temptation.
Didn’t you know? Mother nature wants you to be a fat, slow, weak slob!
I used to think that just as I once viewed snow and mountains as punishment for living in Vermont.
Somewhere along the road (or trail), I learned that if there’s going to be any success then it’s going to be had by working with the laws of nature not against them. To ski well I need to use gravity, not fight it. I can’t attack the snow and remain upright, but if I use it to carve and turn I can fly like the wind.
The more I understand the root knowledge or rules of mother nature, the easier and more pleasurable this whole fitness thing becomes. The struggles subside and the cravings disappear. In fact, I’ve now come to view struggle as a sign that I’m doing something wrong and not listening to what must be done.
The lesson is simple. The laws of nature are neutral. They are neither good nor bad. It’s our relationship towards the forces of nature that cause us joy or sorrow. The river is flowing and you can either fight it or use it to propel you forward.
So listen to your cravings and pay attention to how you feel. Take heed towards the signals that run through your whole body every day. Even at this very second mother nature is giving you instructions and sending you signals.
Are you going to listen and learn, or are you going to remain ignorant and stubborn?
I once read that stress comes from knowing what should be done, but you do something else instead. With this in mind, I’ve come to understand that when I start to struggle and strain for long periods of time I know I’m not doing something right.
If I ski right, I jump and glide through the snow like it’s second nature. However if something is off I fee like it takes everything I have just to get on the lift.
Pain and struggle are warning signs. Pleasure and peace are rewards. Let’s heed them and go have some fun!