Just let go

If you downhill ski, you probably remember how counterintuitive it was in the beginning. You're clamped onto these long, skinny boards designed to shoot you down the slope. And sometimes, you think you can control yourself by reaching out in front for balance—just like when you're walking around. But when you reach out, you immediately fall head over heels. You have to learn to lean into the hill, not out. And that takes some practice.

I remember when I was becoming a downhill skier. It took me a really long time to get the hang of it, being basically stubborn about letting go of how I controlled myself. But one day, all the lessons and encouragement and spills coalesced into one fluid, long, and graceful run down the mountain. I had given up my way. For once, I just let it all happen. What a thrill!

June 14, 2004

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