Saturday, February 12, 2011

Take your truth straight up, let go of your ego, and FLY.

If you are going to fly, you have to commit.
Yesterday was an incredible day, as I mentioned in my last post. I skied well, the snow was, as Kurt calls it, "Buffo Deluxe," and I got to practice my performance cues for each maneuver.

I was a bit nervous, because in my time in the theater when I was younger, we always used to say that we want a lousy dress rehearsal so that the opening day is spectacular. I'm not sure I could hope to put it together on Sunday much better than I did on Friday.

I fixed that worry by skiing with Cindy and Schanzy today. The thing about Schanzy is that he is tough. He calls it like he sees it. He does not sugar coat it. He holds me accountable and makes me nervous. He calls me on anything that doesn't make sense, and he's not there to make me feel good. He reminds me of my old figure skating coach, the one who used to yell at me, "Katya, you look like 800 pound cow. I won't watch."

The only difference is that he does it from a place of kindness that is true and real. I trust Schanzy more than almost anyone. If things fall apart, he's the one I talk to. When I need the truth, he's the one I ask. 

In the coaching realm, this is a kind of coaching I respond well to. I can't do it 24/7, but I need a lot of it. It pushes me to do better, every turn, all the time. Cindy asked me what I needed from her today, and I told her, I need her to be present, to show up as Cindy, to talk and to say what's real.

She said, "Oh, good. That was crap. I don't know what that was, but it wasn't like anything I saw you do yesterday. Don't do that again." I smiled. Oh hell yeah. Now we are getting somewhere.

The three of us had a great day working on MA from the chair and on snow, and working on short turns and fall line bumps. We skied from about 10 to about 2, with a nice lunch at Highlands Pizza Co. It was an easy day on the legs, and an intense day in the emotive, intellectual, and motivational aspect. Just what the doctor ordered.

At one point during the day, Schanzy said to me, "If you ski like that, Kate, you are not going to win." and he skied away. He had a point. I thought to myself as I stood on the top of Aces and Eights, a steep double black bump run with gladed trees, and thought to myself, I'm not here to show up, I'm not here to get a score, I'm here to win.

And by winning, I don't mean getting the highest score in the group, I mean owning my own skiing and purpose to such a depth that I have shown up and continue to show up in every turn. That also means being willing to show up and continue working on the movement patterns that I'm working on, rather than defaulting back to what I know will "work" and show less possible mistakes.

I know this to be true. I know from all kinds of competitions, from skating to climbing, to tennis, to boxing, that if the coach changes my grip on my racket, and its harder to connect as often as when I used to, but when I do connect, I send the ball with accuracy and speed that was never in my repertoire before, I need to keep that new grip.

If I change my grip, or default to what worked "well enough" in the past because I'm in a pressure situation and I just want to connect and want the win SO badly, that new movement or grip takes WAY longer to incorporate into a permanent, owned place.

Instead, I flip flop back and forth between the two for months, using the new grip in practice and the old grip in competition, until the line in-between is so muddy that neither is effective.

So at that moment, standing at the top of Aces and Eights, I made the choice. I'm showing up with what I'm working on. I'm bringing the game in progress. I'm not resting on what worked "well enough" last week. I own, more than anything, my commitment to myself to develop depth in my skiing over time. To do that, I have to LET GO of all that was so I can become what is.

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