Skiing in Control. Benefits of an open mind

Open-mindedness.

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Ordinary people do amazing things when they don’t know they can’t. I looked up “open-mindedness” in the Thesaurus and it came up with Acceptance,  Interest,  Observance,  Receptiveness and Understanding.  All of which, it seems to me, are pretty handy when you want to develop more skilful skiing.  More of which, below the fold here – The world is replete with incidences of folk who surprised themselves by doing things they never thought they could.  There’s a list of 100 such people here . Which proves that much of the time we can do things provided we do not know we can’t.  That is to say, provided we do not go to the trouble of convincing ourselves that we will not be able to.

Skilful skiing in control is no different.  If we can just keep an open mind on it, and not be in a hurry ( impatience keeps you waiting ) there is very little you can’t do.  Often all it takes is for you to resist the temptation to want it all and want it now.

If you are finding that you are at a stage in your skiing where you have been stuck for a while and now find yourself thinking that it’s as far as you can go – you are almost certainly wrong.

There seem to be two key restraints on our ability to improve our skiing.  I had considerable personal experience of both of them as I worked at my own skiing development.  There are others, but these two seem to be very prevalent :-

1. Apprehension.  2. Impatience, either with ourselves, or with our rate of progress.

Taking Apprehension first and briefly, all those Thesaurus synonyms ( you can check them out here ) apply wonderfully.  For me, and from my observations just about every one of my pupils over the years, finding that I got scared was an excuse to beat myself up.  As if being scared was something I ought not to be.  Why not?

It is very natural, and sometimes quite wise.  If only we could stop for just a few seconds and apply Acceptance,  Interest,  Observance,  Receptiveness and Understanding, then feeling scared would just be something to accommodate for a few minutes, and not some kind of proof of our inadequacy.  Which it isn’t.  You can be apprehensive and still do things, it doesn’t have to stop you.

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Carly Simon, has a clever song – “Anticipation, it’s making me late, it’s keeping me waiting”. This was another of my problems ( aside from the fact that Carly seemed to prefer James Taylor to me! ), impatience.

Rather than accept that at any given point in my development of skilful skiing, that was precisely where it was appropriate for me to be, I always thought I should be better, or ought to have got this my now. I was tacitly choosing to not enjoy the Benefits of an open mind, when again if only I had looked at my development with Acceptance,  Interest,  Observance,  Receptiveness and Understanding, my progress would undoubtedly have been quicker AND I would would have been happier.

In the end it worked out of course because I’m not a giver-upper, but not all folk are quite so obsessive.  If you are not, but would still like to improve, maybe another mental approach would give you the Benefits of an open mind.  It’s all very interesting.

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