Friday, November 28, 2008

World cup practice cancelled due to 6 in snow fall.

It snowed! Great for the resort, but practice has been cancelled. Course was perfect yesterday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Thooosee were the dayyyyys! Thanks for patience, kindness, and two beautiful children.

On my way to work!

Heading up to the world cup course to check out the snow! No practice to film today. But i'm gonna pick up my credential!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting ready!

I'm tuning my skis for tomorrow! It's supposed to snow tomorrow, lets hope they are right!

We went skating!

Oh my god! We went skating! Figure skating! And them i put on hockey skates! I an in heavenly bliss right now! Its been years!

Assem world cup

There is the course! I get to ski on it tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tripple Bogey Dinner in Aspen and World Cup gear up!

Okay, I'm here! It was a loooong 14 hour drive, i got in at 5am. WHEW! I got to sleep in the next day, and gave some massage in the afternoon, which was lovely. The next day, I got to go up to Megan's house and make her dinner, not thinking at all about the fact that cooking is exactly like multi taksing, and that its been pretty complicated for me to multitask lately!!

Of course, I chose a recipe from the French Laundry cookbook, which i love to cook out of, Scallops on this amazing compote of mushrooms. So, I made a salad, corn chowder with bell pepper creme garnish, polenta and asparagus, and scallops, followed by pumpkin pie and flour-less chocolate cake.

The deserts were no problem, but the salad, soup and main course were NOT up to snuff. I really enjoyed cooking in her kitchen, and it was interesting to see where I was cognitavely, and it was amazing to have everyone's help at the very end. But its funny, the basic pasta dishes I usually throw together are much much better than what we had for dinner. Ah well. the point was more for the friendship and company, but I do love to cook, so, just like in my skiing, I like to have it all come out just so, so I strive to make it the best I can.

This was a good lesson for me in letting it go, because the only person at dinner who has eaten my cooking before was Kurt, so I guess I wanted to sort of hit it out of the park. It was nice to do the best I could and let that be good enough. I felt the urge to apologize, and fought it.

All in all, it was a great night, I got to hear some terrific stories from Weems and Katie and Megan about what terrors they were as kids, and we all reminisced about National Academy (Megan and Katies's 14+ years to my two), and I got to learn a little more about Jason, the incredible chef who was up at dinner. I offered to come chop vegis for him sometime, and he agreed, so i may occasionally be loitering around Megans house to pick up some tips from him! That's exciting!

Except I don't think he's going to let me chop. I'll probably have to watch and to dishes, but that is just as good!

The plan for World Cup looks like this: Thursday and Friday I'll be up video taping the freesking practice, Saturday katie and i will be a video/slip team, and Sunday I'll be taping, which will be great.

I've heard they are injecting the race course with water 10 inches under the surface, and when i asked what that meant, i was told "bullet proof ice". OH YAY! GuessI'd better learn to tune my skis tomorrow!

Its been in the 20s and they are blowin' snow every where every day.

Its great to be back in Aspen, this town is so beautiful and friendly, and its great to see friends and connect again. The trainers are out on the hill working their MA, I am so impressed with the dedication to training the staff and putting out a quality product at all four ski schools.

That's all for now, I'll keep you posted and thanks for reading!

At ink!

Waiting for a table at my favorite coffee shop in Aspen! Time to Blog, email and study!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cooking in paradise.

It's like cooking in disneyland! Getting megan and Katie's bfax dinner ready at megan'S place. fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

on the road in blackfoot idaho

I hate eating on the road! Where's my bell pepper and humous! Bleh. But gas is cheap! Yay!

Sunset in west Yellowstone

The road to Aspen!

Heading up the canyon to big sky, on my way to Aspen via salt lake!

Mason and friend help me get on the road!

Don't ask how i broke my door, but i had to hold it closed driving to school today! Worried i wouldn't be able to get on the road to assem today for many reasons, this just added to the list! Thanks bang tail heros for fixing my door!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rockin' like Docken

Happy Birthday, Andy!!

Let's take a poll:
Andy Docken MOST resembles:

a. this guy

b. this guy

c. this guy

d. The love child of all of the above!


post a comment to cast your vote!
ps. bonus points if you can tell us who each of these people are and what movie or event they are in!

pps. ANDY! Thanks for making skiing always always fun, even when its (or you are) kicking my ass!

Happy Birthday, Amanda F!

I'm so glad you guys live across the street. Thanks for helping me see straight when I get lost. Have a beautiful birthday!

Totally Gratuitous

Look! I'm inside the gate! This is the day before I "fixed" the dumped hip problem, but hey hey hey, my feet are outside the gate and my body is in! Yippee!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


five minutes ago in the back yard.

Sometimes, I feel like the list is endless, and I know I'll get through it, sometimes, it seems like theres obstacles falling from the sky (or coming at me at 45 mph from behind), but most times, there are beautiful friends, and an amazing world to help keep it in perspective.

Thank you Tiff, Ang, Kurt, Meg, Amanda and Stacey. Tough week. I'm grateful for you.

Donation Love!

THANK YOU Amanda! I got this note this morning, along with some gas money into my training fund!

"I've contributed a bit of dosh to the gas money fund, since you've lost so much time due to yr diva brain stem."

I have indeed had to cancel more than a dozen massages this week and miss school due to the little tiny ER snag, and this really helps! Thanks so very much for your help, Can't WAIT to stand on the World Cup course and see how its done!!

Unfortunately I won't be slipping the course and working on the course crew, as its long days of super hard work on ice, and you have to get your ass out of the way before the next world cup skier comes rippin' down the course, but I'm grateful that there is a helpful job I CAN do that will let me make some easy turns, be on the course, and learn a lot.

Bringing my table to Aspen, email me if you want a rub! (Thanks Dennis and Kurt for helping me fill up my schedule, its great to work on the road!!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Full Cert Free Ride Petition: Grass Roots, Lets GO!

This is what your pass might look like, good ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, if we can get this program going!

For an FAQ on this proposal, and more info, click HERE

To sign the petition, click HERE

For more info on what the heck this is, READ ON!

You'd ski all over the country if you had a free pass, right? You'd make friends at these places and crash on their couch... you'd bring back the dirt bag community ski lifestyle!

You'd be able to tell clients at your resort where they should go when they tell you, "We are going to be on the East Coast in February, but with our kids, where should we ski?" You'd know what to say, because you would have GONE THERE!

And you would have gone there because you'd be welcome, the lift ticket would be free, and there would be a community of instructors who have open couches!

You'd be able to help level the National Standard because while your division would be individual, you'd be traveling, talking, learning, and bringing back ideas from other locations, and sharing your stuff with them!

If you could have a nation wide free pass if you were full cert, you'd have a REASON to join PSIA, commit to your training, and get through. You'd want to road trip with your friends, so you'd encourage them to train, too!

Membership numbers would rise, people in training would rise, numbers of people taking exams would rise, and number of overall full certs in this country would rise!

And you'd have friends all over the country! (Pssst, think we could talk Canada into joining this program?)

This is a GRASS ROOTS MEMBER BASED EFFORT! PSIA knows were talking about it, and they are curious how many people would be into it!

I've talked to lots of ski school directors, and while the scope of the program is logistically difficult, they are interested and open to the idea, every single one of them.

Here's the thought: Pass your 3, get a card with a barcode. Present your full cert PSIA card at any ticket window nationwide, and get your comp lift ticket.

Meet other cool people who love to ski, make friends all over, learn from them, teach to them, and love your ski community.

It may start smaller than that, but THAT'S THE GOAL. The industry is intrigued and PSYCHED to see how many people would be into this. I spent a lot of last season and the season before "floating" the idea with POSITIVE results, so lets keep it going!

Sign up to "attend" this event, send it to everyone you know, skier, snowboarder, instructors and non instructors. We want to see JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE would sign up if they knew this was the carrot at the end of the stick.

If the petition goes well, I'm gonna hit the road and start "interest" meetings at individual resorts.

Lets DO IT!

Kate Howe
Bridger Bowl, MT
L2 Alpine

TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS LIST: either join the PSIA Facebook group HERE and click to "attend" this event, or comment below with your name, city, and whether or not you are a PSIA member or instructor. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A CURRENT MEMBER OR INSTRUCTOR to sign this petition! We just want to know how many people would be interested in joining if they knew this were the prize at the end!!

MRI Results, 7 days till World Cup

Okay, here it is: My brain, apparently, is fine (ha ha ha) thank goodness. My neck, on the other hand, not so much. They are considering doing a full spine and pelvis MRI of me, but currently:

The disc between c5/6 is bulging and impinging the nerve roots coming out of the spinal column, and possibly occasionally the spinal chord, although we can't be sure. The disc between c6/7 is also bulging, but not as badly.

I have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon to do injections into my discs to relieve the pressure in those sites. At this time, no surgery seems necessary. At this time. (Do they really have to stress it twice??)

I talked with my friend Kurt, who has several fused discs in his back, and apparently the injections, while scary sounding, are great, really helpful, and I should be fine a couple of days after. YAY!

I'm supposed to drive to Aspen on the 22nd to go work on the World Cup course there, but I am going to have to step off of the actual crew and do video for Katie instead, because I don't think I should be carrying heavy loads and skiing hard on ice all day under pressure. I don't mind being on the course on my skis video taping, that would be great, and seems appropriate for where I am right now.

So, checking to see if I can get injections on Monday or Tuesday, so I feel better by Friday! Keep your fingers crossed!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wanna see a picture of my BRAIN?

I got some images from the MRI of my cervical spine and head, this is a very very strange thing, to see what your actual brain actually looks like. Click here to see more if you are a big medical geek. I haven't got them read by anyone yet, still waiting as the hospital is backed up. But, WOW, Hi, cerebral cortex, how are you? Look, look, its my brain stem! And there's my EYEBALLS!

Academy Memory Book is Back Up

I'm sorry the link went down, but here it is, and its in the side bar as well: Get your copy of the Memory Book from National Academy! Follow this link to browse the first 15 pages of this 64 page book! This book is priced at Blurb Books Cost, I haven't added an "author fee", geeze, were broke enough!

snowbird, utah
By 2008

How Much Snow Will We Get This Year?

Visit the Climate Prediction Center as obsessively as you can, and maybe you'll tame your jones for the snow until December!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What the heck is going on?

Thanks, you guys, for all the well wishes! A brief update: on Tuesday, I had some deep work done on my neck and back, and should have gone home and laid on ice. Instead, because I was feeling so good, I got a bunch done, and then went up to Bridger Bowl to say HI to the ski school and have dinner, do paperwork, etc.

It was snowing on the way up, we were running late, the room was crowded and noisy, full of people I haven't seen all summer, and it was really fun to see everyone and say hi, and catch up.

I noticed that I was having some trouble focusing on conversations during dinner, and I was really challenged by the paperwork I had to fill out, two things that had eased in the last five days, when I've been feeling really good, and excited to go down to Aspen and finally SKI!

During the presentation, I was holding a beautiful baby, watching a slideshow, and giggling with friends whom I haven't seen in a while. The room was hot, and I began to feel an immense amount of pain in my neck where the main site of my injury from my car accident is, and the sensation of pressure in my brain increased.

I went downstairs and laid down on the cold tile floor of the bathroom, because I knew I was going to pass out. When all was said and done, I was cold, clammy sweaty, and a bit freaked out. Angela came down and we left a bit early, and on the way down the canyon, my arms went numb, and I felt like I was going to throw up. All I wanted was to be still and get my head on some ice pronto.

Angela and I decided that a quick trip to the ER would be in order, so we went in. I laid on the triage desk while Ange held an ice pack to my head, and I got checked in. somehow, I ended up on a gourney in a room, and finally, finally, got an IV, into which they pumped an anti-vertigo med, valium, depacote and an anti nausiant. All the while, Anglea was making calls and taking care of me. She ended up staying until 11:45 at night, when Liat, my little sister, came to the ER and took over.

I had a new CAT scan, and it was clean, there is no bleed. The care in the ER was amazing, even though they were slammed busy. My pain in my head and neck stayed high, even through theese big gun pain killers, and today, Tiffany and Elaine, two friends from massage school, left school and came out to watch my kids (who were home sick from school), and take me to my MRI appointment.

We are currently waiting for results (and I have a copy, so I can post pics as soon as I get on a PC and can get them open!), but my gut feeling is that everything is fine. I think I overstimulated myself on a long day after deep work on my neck and that what my nervous system needed that day was rest.

Thanks for all your love and concern, and I'll keep you posted!

Happy Birthday, Cindy!!

Thanks for adding sparkle and life to everything you do. I think you are pretty amazing, and I'm grateful to have you in my life!

Finding your path... an answer to Anonymous

I just received this comment on my blog:

"So, this might seem a little out of the blue, and possibly totally inappropriate, but what happened to the Kate of all your other old blogs? You are without doubt driven and successful and amazing at remaking yourself and at inspiring others, but I miss the Kate that posted about books and art and recipes for pie, plus those little stories about you and your family. So entertaining and well written. You almost seem like a completely different person these days."

And it was interesting to read, because I have been thinking about writing a post on just this topic.

The short answer is, I'm glad you liked my old blogs, about my family and my life at home. If other readers are curious, you can check here, these are the blogs I was writing before I began skiing:

A Good Book and a Piece of Pie

Unsuspected Depth
Bodice Buster
Adventures in Sculpture Building

And the long answer, what happened to the old Kate? Well, I'm right here. But over time, I've grown. I've been searching for a long time for the thing that makes me happy in my life, for "my path".

I have, in the past, put my head down and pushed through a couple of things I thought were interesting and might lead to some form of success. The problem was my definition of success. I was a competitive figure skater, a relatively successful actress, an artist, a writer, I was interested in being a caterer and writing cookbooks, I love being a mom, I enjoyed making and keeping house. I owned a rock climbing gym, and a cloth diaper making business. To all of these endeavors, I applied myself as wholly as I could, believing that to "make it" one must fully commit and push through whatever obstacle stands in your way.

Interestingly enough, in the pursuit of "success", even as a mom, I lost myself. The truth is, I do miss making art, its in me, its a huge part of what I love. But I couldn't support myself doing it, the creation and installation of my pieces was hugely taxing on my family's finances, and on my marriage. I know that Art will still be there in six, or ten, or twenty years, and I'm glad to be able to make the occasional painting or sculpture along my current journey.

Almost six years ago, I began a long journey which has landed me here, where I am today. Today, I feel that I am on "my path", finally. I feel at home, comfortable, confident, and valued. I see my path unfolding before me, and I'm grateful to have found it.

The thing that sparked the change was my pregnancy with Bodhi. I came to realize during my pregnancy that I needed to keep my children safe from a person who had been in my life for 26 years, and who was very, very poisonous. This person was abusive to me and other people that I love, daily. Emotionally, physically, sexually. And I came to a place where I could not let that happen to my kids.

The day I was brave enough, I cut that person, my step father, out of my life forever. The process of removing him completely and beginning down the path of healing took four years. During that time, Tom and I were struggling to be successfully with our climbing company, I was in school, and we had two kids. I was trying to stick with a life long love of art, and force my path through on that front, no matter the difficulties or consequences.

Also during this time, we had four or five people at a time living with us, all of whom were going through similar issues. I was happy to have people around me, I was beginning to feel like I could create a family that felt right to me. But I was still suffering from a lot of emotional trauma from my past experiences, including being diagnosed with PTSD from the abuse I had suffered since I was 6. I was still a victim, and had yet to turn the corner to survivor.

Also during that time, I was fortunate enough to read a book called The Courage to Heal 4e: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 20th Anniversary Edition
, an incredible book that took me through the first steps toward freedom for myself and safety for my kids, which was paramount.

When we lost our business to our landlord, and my studio burnt to the ground in the same year, just weeks before my first solo show at the Metro Gallery in Los Angeles, I left school. Tom and I were shell shocked at what had happened, and our terrific friends Jen and Steve were living in Montana. We fled to their home and found solace and family with them. From terrible adversity, we found some peace, and moved here, to what seemed like paradise.

For the first year, we lived a bit like emotional refugees from the traumatic experiences we'd been through, and I was grateful for the time to bond together as an insular family. I was in therapy, learning how to draw boundaries, how to protect myself, how to be a good role model for my kids, and trying to figure out what it meant to suddenly be a stay at home mom in Montana with no career, having shot my art career in the foot when Tom and I made the choice that moving to a beautiful, small, rural place like Bozeman was more important for our family than me making it as an artist in LA.

But over time, I felt lost. I wrote about what I was doing, which was reading a lot of books and cooking and keeping house and raising my kids, all of which I enjoy doing, but I didn't feel like I was on my path. I felt lonely a lot of the time, and I was constantly asking myself if this was the rest of my life, could I live like this?

The period of time in which I was writing about books and recipes, and trying to make contemporary public art in Bozeman (which is a very artistic and supportive community), I felt lost. I have always been a competitive athlete, and I missed the things that had been important to me in my life before kids: hiking, trekking, adventuring, climbing, being outside and moving around in the mountains.

I felt that I had given up on an essential part of me. I was fortunate enough to meet Dave Evans at Bridger Bowl when I was taking Ethan up for ski lessons when he was five. I was given an opportunity to ski, and to teach.

Over the course of the next very confusing year, I came to see that I had been denying myself something that is fundamentally important to me. While I was spending a lot of time at home, and doing the best job I could keeping house and making food, I was sad. And lonely. And very lost. I had given up on living a life that felt like it had purpose, and had resigned myself to a life as "mom" only.

Don't get me wrong, I think that being a mother is a huge and important job. And it is certainly a job that leaves an impact. But I was not honoring myself by having that be my defining role. Wife and Mother to the exclusion of all else was not fulfilling me. And I felt guilt about that. I felt like it aught to be enough.

But when I started skiing, I found Kate again. I found the fun side of me, the side I had been denying for years while protecting myself from my abuser, while caring for others who were abused, while trying to make a home that fit the standard I had set.

What I didn't realize was that in trying to meet some fictional ideal of house and home, I had lost who I was.

Turning the corner was hard. I went back to therapy and worked hard on learning how to know what a boundary was, how to care for myself, how to let go of old ideas about myself and "success" that were installed by my past family history.

During that time, I took myself back. I found joy, I became stronger, I began to honor what and who I really am, rather than trying to fit into a mold that makes sense to other people. I struggled to stop worrying about what other people would think, and just be who I naturally was.

During this process, I lost some friends, and that was very difficult. But I also knew that I was a happier, healthier person, and a better wife and mom for making the decision to stay with me, to honor my voice, to be who I am, and not who a committee thinks I aught to be.

An interesting thing happened when I started to honor my inner voice. All the experiences from my past coalesced into a path that easily unfolded in front of me. I have been a coach in one form or another for the last 18 years or so, in skating, tennis, boxing, rock climbing, and now skiing.

I had lived with a variety of people for whom I was friend and counselor, and had educated myself on their conditions, as well as my own, and helped them move in the direction of health and therapy. I worked closely with a therapist who advised me on their conditions and directed me to appropriate reading material.

Pulling from my own experience with performance anxiety in life and on the ice, from my experience in acting, writing, and coaching, HardHead Coaching coalesced in front of me. People were interested in a focused way to achieve their dreams, and all the past experiences I had suddenly gelled into a coaching system that seems flexible enough to meet the individual needs of each client, and to be broadly applied to a ski school or a group.

Because I am coaching skiing, now, and you can't coach skiing from a lawn chair (unless you are Cal Cantrell, I've heard), I had the opportunity to become, once again, at 36, an athlete in training.

With all of these things gelling, my healing and commitment to the safety and security of my family, my own commitment to training my body and mind, and opportunities to coach others, my path suddenly appeared before me.

And mentors, coaches and teachers were everywhere. The resistance here is minimal, the support is enormous. I am hugely indebted to Bridger Bowl, Dave Evans, Mike Hickey and Josh Spuhler. If it wasn't for them, I would not have found this enormously satisfying culmination of past experiences, focused down into a specific goal.

I know a lot of people who are searching for their path, for the thing that makes them feel like there is meaning in their lives, and I have to say that I think it begins with honoring who you are and learning to love and care for yourself, so that you can then love and care for others.

And then comes the scary part, doing what you know is right for you, regardless of what other people wish you would do. Some people in my life wanted me to get an MBA, some had strong feelings about me acting, some about me making sculpture, some about me NOT painting... there always seemed to be a battery of people with very strong opinions about where I should spend my time and energy. But when I began to honor me, I began for the first time to hear these ideas as ideas that belonged to other people, rather than edicts on how not to let other people down. And I began to be able to stick solidly with something that is important to me, and tell people who think otherwise, thank you for your opinion, which I am happy to listen to, but I'll not set aside my dreams or goals for another person's convenience ever again.

I know that to some people, who met me when I was pregnant, and didn't know the person who was a stage manager, actress, figure skater, etc, that this shift from staying at home and cooking to traveling all over the country and coaching may seem abrupt and strange.

But the truth is, in those years, while I was happily caring for my kids, I came to a place when they became a certain age that begged me to pull some focus back to me. I know that not all moms agree with the choices I have made, and that's okay. I think we all have our path, and I know that the path I am on is the right one for me. I feel balance there, that I am bonded to my kids, a good and close parent, and also honoring the things in my life that make me feel alive.

My quest for the Demo Team started out as just that: a physiological experiment: could it be done? Could I train my body, at 36 to become a good enough skier that I could do what I love most, coach at a high level in a new sport?

Now, the Demo Team seems to me like a logical step on a career path that I love. I can't wait to continue developing my coaching system, and watching it change and mutate as I meet more people and learn more. I draw from all my past experiences to do the job I love, and therefore, I am grateful for each of them. I know that I went through the things I went through to prepare me to be here, where I am today, on my path, heading in a direction that feels positive, with purpose. Teaching on the team would be a great job and an honor, and if it seems like the right step in four years when my tryout is, I will be as prepared as I can be to meet that challenge.

So, Anonymous, to answer your question: I'm sorry that you miss the "old" Kate, but she's right here. The only difference is, now I honor my inner voice and follow my intuition, which has led me to friendships, adventures and closeness with my kids that I could only have imagined before.

Thank you for your comment, and for being brave to post it, it is just that kind of honesty that honors you, and its hard to tell a friend that you wish they were different. Thank you for reading, and for commenting!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Have National Teams Tryouts Video!

Thanks to Ben Roberts, and Chris Kastner, I have an hour and 15 min of video on DVD from the National Alpine Teams Tryouts this year, if you'd like a copy, send $5 and a SASE to:

Kate Howe
National Teams Video
628 Starling Dr
Bozeman, MT

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I got my ass handed to me in Yoga yesterday... Welcome to the Team, Tiffany!

I finally made it to Yoga. I've been meaning and meaning to go, for about four years, now. When we lived in Pasadena, pre-kids, I had a pretty good practice, about three times a week. There seemed always to be a reason not to go, which is silly, because I know it does so much for my body, mind, and spirit. I always feel better after Yoga.

So, on Saturday Morning, I headed down to Down to Earth Yoga at the Emmerson Cultural Center in Bozeman, and of course, I had done everything I could to miss class, I slept badly the night before, I had a hangover from the fabulous Equinox party Friday, I dilly-dallied on my computer, I know you aren't supposed to enter class late...

At the last minute I sucked up my courage, parked my car and snuck into class. Tiffany Mylott was teaching, she's also a massage therapy student at Health Works Institute, and the class was AWESOME.

Do you know that feeling when you haven't been skiing in years and years, and then you go out and ski ALL DAY because its so much fun, and then you get back to wherever you are staying and you are CRIPPLED and want to DIE?

Tiffany did that to me in an hour and a half. It was awesome. I am so freakin' sore I can't believe it. Of course, Tiffany didn't really do that to me, I did that to me. SO - if you are in Bozeman, take a can of food with you and go to her class, it rocks, it's only $7 with a can of food for the food drive, and if you haven't done Yoga in a while, well, PACE YOURSELF! Tiffany also does private classes, email me at katehowe at mac dot com if you are interested, and I'll pass it along.

Its a beautiful, deep, compassionate practice taught by a woman who knows what she's doing. In fact, it was so great, I asked Tiff if she would join my team as my Yoga instructor to make my core and legs stronger and to help me get my balance back, and she has agreed! So welcome to the team, Tiffany, thanks for joining!!

On the way to the movies.

Taking the kids to see Madagascar!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It Becomes What You Use it For

On Friday, in Anatomy class, we learned about Wolff's Law, which states: "It becomes what you use it for.". Wolff was talking about what happens when muscle attachments pull on bone. When you look at a skelleton of an active adult, there are bony landmarks all over it. Those bony landmarks are where muscles attach via their tendonous connections.

Wolff hypothesized that those bony landmarks exist BECAUSE of the muscle pulling on the bone where it attaches. And thus, it becomes what you use it for.

Since Aubrey, our Physio/Path teacher at HealthWorks told us this, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. It reminds me of the childrens book A House Is a House for Me

This cyclical statement has become, to me, a proof and a mantra. It becomes what you use it for. Lets start easy: think of all the types of athletes you know, or saw in the Olympics: swimmers have a certian type of body, generally, long, lean, big backs, low body fat. Triathletes have another type, stringy, with "runners" legs. Cyclists are huge on the bottom and small on the top. Surfers are relatively balanced top to bottom, and can withstand more body fat without impacting their sport, in fact, it may be helpful as an insulating layer.

What if we moved that idea to the intention for the way we live our life? It becomes what we use it for. My heart becomes open when I use it for compassion, especially when I want to judge. My faith in myself becomes larger when I choose to believe in myself, especially when I want to give up.

There are times in life when we come up against judgment. Self judgment, as most of you know, is the bane of your athletic existence, I spend a lot of time in my coaching practice finding ways to get the athlete to set aside judgment and give themselves permission to do the thing they are there to do, without apology. What if you knew that you become what you use it for? If you want to be an excellent skier, go skiing.

If you want to be an excellent mom, hug your children. If you want to be free from the internal judgment, practice an hour free from judgment. If you are a person who likes to beat themselves up for being lazy, or someone who can be hyper critical of yourself because you didn't do something that seems easy (WHY do I always run out of dish soap before I buy more? Stupid, make a list, geeze, other people are able to act like adults and get their soap. Why can't I?)

You are, in that moment, becoming what you are using your mind for: a vessel for self-loathing and hatred. This becomes the power, this removes your power. You become a channel, a conduit, for negative thought.

What if in the hour in which you practiced setting aside judgment, you became what you were using it for? You might find space, just a little, to take a breath. There might be room in there to make a different choice.

For four years, I have intended to get back to Yoga class. Today, I went, because I want my body to become the thing I use it for.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States!

WE DID IT! McCain's concession speech was great! It's the most human I've seen him.