Sunday, January 16, 2011

Perpetual Beginner

Being a beginner at anything can be a very humbling experience.  Starting from scratch, scares most off, with good reason.  It can be a lot of work, embarrassing, uncomfortable, frustrating, and time consuming.  Learning to telemark ski has been all of these things for me, in addition to strenuous and painful. However, after a few weeks of awkward spills and burning quads, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Why bother one might, and many do, ask?  I ask "why not bother?" Everywhere I look people are entrenched in the same-old routines day in and day out.  They inspire me.  I don’t want to that.  Non-stop learning seems the only path to avoiding this. 

Although I am a proficient snowboarder, I undoubtedly have room for major improvement and progression in that discipline. Maybe it is my limited attention span, but I’d rather be a beginner every year, than settle into any kind of routine or rut.  Besides, the grass is always greener.

When I’m snowboarding, I watch those skiers get off the lift and just head right down the hill.  No awkward balancing or cold butts while trying to strap in.  I want that.  Or when they hit a flat part and can just pole and skate their way back to the decline.  So jealous.  Now on skis, I remember the days of comfortable snowboarding boots and only schlepping a single object as opposed to four long, awkward pieces of equipment.  Good thing I can switch back tomorrow or the next day or whenever it dumps again. 

I’m slowly getting the muscle memory.  My only limiting factor is my quads.  I can only take two or three runs, before my legs burn so bad and I get sloppy.  In reality, the really sucky part only lasts a few days, if even.  Then progress becomes the biggest motivation. Seeing myself progress, at anything, is extremely encouraging and cyclical. The more I progress, the more I am motivated.  The more I am motivated the more I progress.  And the process is where the fun is.  Growth only comees from practice and time.  It is harly ever spontaneous.  It seems the longer the process, the bigger the reward.  The reward being growth.  And I choose growth over stagnation any day, awkward falls and all.

1 comment:

Kali said...

Love it... love it... love it.