Freedom Found in Skiing
By Dan Egan
By Dan Egan
An excerpt from the soon to be released (Sept 25, 2022)
All Terrain Skiing Vol. II book & app
The freedom found in skiing and snowboarding is instant and rewarding. From the moment you point yourself downhill, gravity takes over. Going with the flow is often the best decision. I like to say, “Don’t let a bad turn contaminate the next good one.” With that in mind, my goal setting is always focused forward, remembering that the achievement is a subset of the whole.
My suggested plan is always to start small and work up to the big stuff, which is how this book is laid out. To reiterate so you won’t forget, this is a simple program based on balance, upper body position, power and/or dynamic motion, fluidity, and agility. It is designed for skiers of any ability to follow and learn how to improve.
In the mountains, surrounded by kindred spirits, I find my energy. When I ride up the lift and watch people gliding down the slope, something inside of me recognizes the connection others are having to this energy, and I sit in anticipation of it. Once I’m at the top and released from the lift, I join this force. I’m anchored by the earth’s gravitational pull. My eyes search out the fall line and I take a deep breath, then exhale, and push off. Now, in the first turn, the force and I are joined and I’m in this moment, free of the past. The world is forgotten. I’m at peace. It is so simple, so much fun, and so rewarding.
Skiers and riders often tell me about their aspirations: they’ve purchased new gear, gotten in shape, been praying for snow, and are committed to new challenges both large and small. Some are going to take a lesson, others go with a guide and accept that there will be risks. Often, they have a “bucket list” of runs and routes they hope to check off. These conversations are exciting, contagious, and easy to feed off of.
I’ve never had such a list, yet I’ve gone to some amazing locations, stood on many a mountain top, gazed at the surrounding beauty, and dropped down some jaw-dropping routes. Over the years I’ve found that to find a way, you must enter into what Taoism calls “The Way.” As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This always reminds me to move forward, while striving to be free from the past. The pace of achievement is not important here; moving confidently into the future is. With each pole plant, turn, or run, I move away from the “Ya-buts” and the “I cant’s” and enter into “The Way” of doing. I stay connected to the gravitational pull of the moment’s challenge, and toward a successful future.
Every day can be a fresh canvas, full of possibilities. It is often fueled by how we see it and to what we attach ourselves. Let this revised, updated, All-Terrain Skiing II program inspire your season of change. Commit to it; do the drills, master the skills, and you will see results as you journey through the process, moment by moment. Set your intention to moving forward, one turn, one pole plant, one run at a time, and embrace learning new balance positions, edging skills, and body conditioning. Over time, your skiing will become more efficient and enjoyable. You’ll be on the mountain longer, skiing slopes and conditions you had only dreamed about.