Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Force (and Halle Berry) can set you free

Just returned from five days skiing at Whistler/Blackcomb, an amazing ski resort in British Columbia, a couple hours north of Vancouver and site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Stayed at the wonderful home of a generous friend from Vancouver (he and his family went south). Ski in/ski out; it snowed every day, and this is a big set of mountains...really BIG. Biggest challenge for me was the March Pacific early spring weather which created cloud cover over much of the mountains every day and little real sunshine resulting in Zen-skiing conditions: one must feel the force and become one with the fall line because one cannot see ten feet in front of one. Hard for me and I struggled mightily for the first few days...after replacing my helmet (recommended after a hard crash), I followed the advice of a new friend, Howard from Montreal, and took a Super-Group lesson: one other student, Mycka from London-40 yrs old, Alberto, the Veronese wonder instructor, 20 something, and me, 50 something. Alberto politely and with no rolling of his eyes explained that he wanted us to weight the outside ski, keep our skis together and then release them only when we finished a turn. No rrrush; smooooth; he was calm, he skied like Halle Berry slinking out of her gown in Swordfish, and he was patient. It worked. Took a few tries, but after following him a couple times (he was so good and smooth and fluid, really, think Halle Berry) it started to sink in--I was able to feel the force, he actually used that term, and go with it. My control and confidence returned; skiing was fun (and safe) again. So, sometimes we all need a tune-up or a refresher course and sometimes we need some expert help. They're out there, don't be afraid to ask or to invest something in learning or relearning a skill. And whether it's gravity or customer feedback, trust the Force.

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