Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. (Mark Twain)
I’ve come a long way since I first picked up skiing. I’m sure my group of co-workers I attempted my first beginnings on skis with would be proud of me now. Their patience on my very first runs is what thought me the basics, and made me fall in love with the sport. From there I’ve taken things on my own without ever taking formal lessons. Learning by doing, the hard way, seems my motto in life.
Disclaimer: applying my learning by doing principles on your own without formal training is at your own risk entirely. Tying two waxed planks under your feet and venturing out into high mountain altitudes, to then slide down over ice and snow seems risky, if not a stupid idea, and it is. So much that most travel insurance companies doesn’t cover you for it, and needless to say – neither do I.
Compared to how I started, it’s a miracle I got this far in skiing. I often find myself comfortably zooming down some hill at relative high speeds… while being passed by someone else going even faster – skiing backwards. It’s safe to say I really consider myself no skiing expert, nor do I care to be that much of an expert. Skiing backwards is not on my bucket list. I’m just having fun.
So while I don’t call myself an expert, I do cross some of those pesky lines and fences that say “experts only”. And I still make it down in one piece. On most days I find those areas actually easier to handle as there’s generally less people and more snow to be found. People watching me from below must think I’m a real pro by being able to handle some of those tricky steep runs, but I’m sure they don’t see the terror in my eyes when I get stuck on something more steep and icy than I’d imagined. I eventually make my way down, and often will attempt the same run again. Learning by doing keeps me sharp.
Maybe the same applies to life in general. Looking up from below it appears that everyone doing something remarkable must be an expert at whatever they’re doing. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, starting a business, renovating a house, traveling or even moving across the globe, making a tasty meal or just a good cup of coffee. I’ve done some of those things and don’t necessarily call myself an expert at any of them – even if I seem to be doing a good job at it it’s only because you’ve missed the terror in my eyes at times. I’m just having fun.