A Life Lesson I Learned in the Slalom Ski Course

Slowing down to to get the job done feels counterintuitive but it works.

“man wearing gloves and black tank top while water skiing” by Ian Wagg on Unsplash

Any other slalom skiers out there?

I love to waterski. For those of you unfamiliar with it, there’s water skiing which involves a lovely toodle around a lake on some big skis.

Then there’s slalom skiing which is a maddening attempt to ski around 6 alternating buoys that are 30 meters from the centerline of the boat path.

Action in the ski course happens really fast. You can’t turn when you want to, you turn when you have to. Then you get rocketed across the boat’s wake and do it again on the other side.

Naturally, the tendency in the ski course it to try to speed things up. You have to get to that next buoy before the boat pulls you too far down the course.

So, you rush and speed things up, and next thing you know, your form is crap, you completely miss the buoy, or worse, you wipe out.

That natural instinct wasn’t working, so finally one day, I told myself before a pass that I was going to slow down.

Slow down to get through the things that had to be done to complete the course successfully.

Slow down, be at ease, don’t force it, and focus on form over speed.

You guessed it, it was a beautiful pass.

Isn’t this just like life?

We rush, rush, rush trying to get to the impossible bottom of a to-do list.

We try to force things to happen on our timeline instead of letting them unfold naturally.

We stress that we didn’t get to a certain point or reach a certain goal by a certain date.

Forcing, rushing, pushing, stressing…

It sounds counterintuitive, but next time you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and facing an impossible list, try slowing down.

Slow down and be mindful of each step.

Take each task to completion before you rush into the next.

Focus on grace, ease, and harmony.

Yield to the higher wisdom that resides deep within you to lead you.

Be lead instead of pushing forth.

Allow a flow to develop. A graceful flow that carries you through the day.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson