Risk as a downhill ski run, Bode Miller style

I was reading my Wall Street Journal today, page after page of blah, blah, blah and then I came across this story on page B8. It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I am not following the Winter Olympic Games nor am I really a fan of Bode Miller. I didn’t even read the article, but what I did do is stare at the photograph.* Here’s why.

Notice how much of the ski is touching the surface of the snow. Notice how “off center” Miller’s body is. Now, imagine how that feels at 90mph (I don’t know how fast he is going, but pretty dang fast.)

And it strikes me that downhill skiing is a lot like doing something that you are passionate about. You hurl yourself headlong into it without thinking about the risk. Your actions and reactions are instinctive, you trust in yourself and your skills and when you doubt yourself for a split second or become aware of the cheering (and sometimes jeering) fans along the fence, it all unravels quickly.

You may crash, you may win a gold medal, but if you don’t hurl yourself out of the gate, you’ll never know.

*I kinda stole the photo from the WSJ and they may find out about it and not share the same enthusiasm I have for showing it to you… so, until I get that cease and desist letter, posting it up here is my downhill ski run of the day. 🙂

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One Response to Risk as a downhill ski run, Bode Miller style

  1. Eric Hatch says:

    I’ve been a skier since I was 8, which was when the glaciers left. It took me many years to learn that the safest, as well as fastest, way down the mountain is to commit yourself to the fall line. In deep powder on steep slopes, you simply have to take off the brakes and do it. Fear makes you late in your turns. Hesitation makes you miss your line. You just have to commit to the hill and go …. and when you do, it feels like nothing else on earth.

    This is literal, but it works as a metaphor for the rest of your life as well. Fear makes you hold back, but commitment brings the joy.