Struggle and Flow

Recently I’ve noticed that when I try too hard…maybe use too much muscle, or I “charge it” for lack of a better phrase, it just doesn’t go so well. Lately I’ve spent a lot more time on the snow than on the water, but I’ve noticed a consistency with that situation in both. If I’m skate skiing, for example (and let’s be clear here–with skating I am a beginner) I find things go much better if I relax and slow my body and mind.. Things start flowing and I find a rhythm. And then, even though I’m a beginner it feels fairly effortless and I can move pretty quickly down a hill. I don’t do uphill on skate skis right now. Don’t judge. I’ll ski up a ridge on my Nordics, but skating? Forget-tabout-it!!

I find this to be the case with kayaking too. I don’t spend nearly as much time in a kayak than on a board but I find the same feeling of “flow” a lot easier if I relax and don’t push it too hard. All of a sudden I’m getting clean strokes and finding good purchase on my blade. My boat starts tracking like an arrow and it’s just…well better! I’m sure this is the same on my board but kayaking and skiing seem very “body-symmetrical” so perhaps I notice it more.

I think this is the same in life. Like everyone, this has been a Hell of a year. From pandemics, to fires, to riots and elections we’ve all experienced a lot of tension!! I’ve had some additional personal challenges with family members’ health and less than ideal circumstances. It’s all sad and it’s difficult. Recently, however, I’ve been able to find a flow in my daily life. And I mean DAILY…sometimes hourly! I don’t get too far ahead schedule-wise, because nothing…NOTHING…can be counted on for me this month and the foreseeable future. So I spend a lot of my headspace in the moment. I am very grateful for anything that makes me smile or laugh (which seems to be quite a lot!). A fun excursion here or an adventure there– those moments seems to shine “extra bright” among the bullshit that seems to be everywhere around me. I’m pretty much never in a hurry right now. It just doesn’t seem necessary or productive, ultimately. (Note: I’m very fortunate, and I know this. The winter season affords me a lot of extra time to not be in a hurry. The fact that it’s the slowest 2 months of my year makes it easy for my schedule to remain flexible, plus I happen to have the awesomest (yes, that’s a word) team to support me. This isn’t lost on me, and I’m not saying it’s so easy for everyone–we all have different circumstances).

Preferring to lose myself in the forest, over crowds and lift-lines I hadn’t skied Mt. Bachelor yet this season. Therefore, yesterday when I finally went, I had to reactivate a 4-pack from the previous year that, due to COVID, Bachelor said they’d honor for the 2021 season. This was a comedy of errors. First, I give props to ALL outfitters and companies in the customer service industry trying to manage the guidelines and restrictions of COVID, while attempting a quality guest experience. Yesterday, as the process continued to be littered with problems I could have really lost my shit. What had, in previous years, taken about 5-7 minutes, took about 30. But hey look…I was on a day off, from a great job where I make sufficient income to live a blessed life, on a sunny, blue-bird day to alpine ski. Talk about the epitome of “First world problems”. As things got more messed up I became more relaxed, more lighthearted and more forgiving of the situation. I think we’ve collectively begun to confuse “inconvenience” with “hardship”. This situation was laughable. Not a time to yell at the staff, or let it ruin my day. We all had a good giggle and I ultimately had a great day on the hill.

Whether executing a stroke, or being patient with a cashier, we all have a choice. We can struggle… or we can flow. You decide.

Thanks for listening….see ya out there on the Frisky Ripples!

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