16February 2019

How to go fast, in no hurry

“Okay folks, there’ll be a short flat coming up to traverse us over a ridge, so you’ll want to hold some speed so you have the momentum to get across.”

In the backcountry, in natural terrain, skiing and riding isn’t always uninterrupted downhill.

In order to work the given terrain, your guide will link up sections, sometimes via a flat, a traverse, or across a small (frozen and snow-covered) lake.

These link-ups, that they know like the back of their gloved hands, are a helpful transition to find the next best pitches of fall line powder.

Or, are they just an interruption in getting more of what you’re after?

Well, that depends on how you look at it.

And sure, we’re definitely out there to ski pitches, not flats, so my analogy will only hold up so far, but I know for myself, when I’ve got a goal in front of me, I don’t always appreciate the pauses.

The excited, impatient part of me is always ready to keep moving toward the next thing, whether that’s the next pitch or the next project.

In fact, I’d say our culture prizes ‘getting the next thing done’ much higher than time spent otherwise.

It can sometimes feel like progression, getting somewhere new, is the only good way to be.

But if striving is all we make time for, what does that leave out?

I’d say: time for NOT worrying about what there is to get done. Instead, time for just being.

Being ‘in the moment’ of course is the cliché, but I think what that actually feels like is no distractions. No being occupied by anything that isn’t right in front of you – in the field of your senses.

It’s when your attention is completely filled with the sound of your skis making that beautiful swooshing sound through the powder, the sight of snowflakes falling or trees rushing through your peripheral view. The feeling of your leg muscles burning.

Nothing around you is in service of the next step. It’s just what it is, right now – nothing missing, nothing lacking.

And don’t misunderstand me.

There’s nothing wrong with getting shit done. There’s nothing wrong with achievement.

But do you give yourself breaks from striving? Do you give yourself the opportunity to let go of all the ‘getting somewhere’?

Whether you’re gliding across a flat, charging turns toward the pick-up, or just taking a walk outside in the middle of your work day, you can be in no hurry to get anywhere.

When the only goal is to savour all the moments of your life.

It feels pretty good. Try it today.

This makes me think of another instance when time slowed down: On the Longest Heli-Ski Run of All Time.




Do you get it?

The Yodel is our exclusive content e-mag. More Cowbell. Sign up right here.

cover of The Yodel magazine