Sunday, February 7, 2010

Skiing With Integrity

People often ask me why I'm so into training, why I'm out training all the time. There are lots and lots of reasons why that is, but first and foremost, I think that if you are going to get paid to ski, part of your job, part of the way that you say to your employer and your clients, "I respect that you pay me to do this, and because I have integrity, I will do all I can to give you the best product possible", is by training all the time.

I believe that if you are paid to ski it is your JOB, part of your job description to seek knowledge and understanding, so you can better facilitate your client unlocking their own skiing.

So I believe that I am obligated to never tire of gaining deeper understanding of how the ski works in the snow, and how our bodies affect that ski.

I believe I am obligated to explore and create my own skiing, questioning my beliefs about skiing and being open to understanding that may come from different angles or areas or people than I expect it to.

I believe I am obligated to look under every rock and pebble, but also to play, I am obligated to continue falling in love with skiing, so that I can help my clients wake up to the joy that is there in every turn.

So often we get caught up in doing it right. I lived in an Olympic Training Center for a portion of my life, and during that journey, I became so obsessed with making the movements right so that I could get more clean rotation, there was absolutely no joy.

The pathology of perfection was toxicly present, and I forgot that the reason that I started skating is because I loved to glide and jump and spin on the ice, and getting better at it made it more fun.

I think our students end up there, as well, they enter a lesson and their social standards come up, I'm an adult, I need to excell, I need to show that I am capable, I need praise, I need to be doing this right.

No. You need to realize that you are playing in the snow. And I'll play in the snow with you, and along the way, we will become better at skiing! And that makes more of the mountain accessible to us, and then, we can play even more!

To that end, I believe it is part of my job to better myself in every way I can, to be open to feedback, to be open to coaching, to be open to meeting people where they need to be met rather than forcing my own dogma down their throats.

Its, obviously, a work in progress, but I have to say that I enjoy meeting the obligations that come with a job like teaching skiing. I am lucky that to be the best teacher, the best employee I can be, I need to get out, and play in the snow.

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