So my downtime at home is always nice, its good to see family and catch up with friends and wind down after a hectic winter but its also filled with anxiety over what should i do next.
My problem is i want to do too much, I talk myself out of certain situations as it scares me or its hard or more often then not its because its unfamiliar and my confidence is sometimes lacking.
Doubt sets in and i panic about whats next. Where do i go from here. Its a stressful and real struggle that i'm sure i'm not alone in, I have a great life but its not always as easy as it looks.
Im a creative thinker, which also makes me a bit of a dreamer but sometimes the left side of my brain chips in with reasons why i shouldn't do things and that sends me in to a spiral of doubting myself. The left side of the brain is the analytical side, its the sensible one, and thats important especially if you associate it with backcountry snowboarding . You need that little voice that is going to question every choice you make, Its how you stay safe. The right side of the brain is the creative side, its the part that gives you the imagination to spot that cliff to huck off or to see that creative line choice or even if wearing that luminous green jacket is definitely a good decision.
It's when i am not being creative, either with work or just when i'm home, that the left side has too much to say and i end up questioning what i'm doing in a non productive way. I end up thinking that taking the comfortable or familiar option is best, no matter how bad that option may have been. Its hard to take that step towards your end goal, sometimes its too much, and thats fine, but i am starting to learn that i need that push and to listen to the creative side a bit more otherwise i will always end up thinking, what if.
This is why snowboarding and the mountains are so important. The simplicity of strapping in and painting a line down a mountain taps into all that creativity and both inspires and invigorates, it also affects the analytical part of us too.
Competing on the Freeride World Tour Qualifiers, to me, is the perfect balance of left and right, Analytical and creative. Its not just going fast or big, its reading what style suits that particular mountain or conditions. Is it a more playful mountain or is it better suited to speed. How many drops is the right amount and how big, how do i make the run look smooth. These are all the things that go through your head, accompanied by nerves and stress. But after your run, if its gone well, you get the biggest release of endorphins which make you feel euphoric. Its was all worth it. Decision making in that short moment comes easily, and you get feedback instantly wether its good or bad. And thats where the key is, you learn that bad feedback can be used positively, whether its taking less speed going into that drop or maybe the line i picked didn't suit the flow of the mountain.
I used to think my imagination was a hindrance, like i thought to much about where i wanted to be, all the while missing whats going on now. Ive realise this isn't a bad thing. I still imagine myself finding my perfect lifestyle with the perfect job which allows me to do the things i love. It may be unrealistic to some but i have realised i need this way of thinking to be a yard stick, to push myself and to not settle for the things that have no meaning to me.
This lifestyle, however unstable it is, teaches us transferable skills that help with every day life. Skiers and Snowboarders go out of their way to feel uncomfortable, to push their limits and to learn. Its a lifestyle that is often looked down upon as its not the norm, but the skills that are leant in the mountains can prepare you for life more then you'll realise.
There was a study done which showed that skiers and snowboarders make the best entrepreneurs as they take risks and aren't afraid to get it wrong. I would maybe question the sources of this study, i don't think asking Dave, the local shredder, really counts. But if you think about it, look at people like Richard Branson, an adrenaline junkie at heart, he's never afraid to get it wrong and regularly does so.
This doesn't mean i am going to suddenly stop questioning my choices, or stressing over what is next. But instead to accept it and to realise that its not a bad thing to constantly question myself and try and adjust my train of thought into the most productive way.
And if it doesn't work, hey at least i got to have a good time doing it!