2.17.2010

Doing half moon like you're Johnny Weir

The Olympics are awesome. If it wasn't for early yoga classes, I'd be up late every night. Ice skating is particularly awesome. I had a not-so-glorious run as a competitive ice skater as a child -- I quit when I was 13, drill team or no drill team -- but I still have a deep attachment to the sport. My friends claim they can see my ice skating roots when I am in half moon. Today, I told my yoga class to imagine themselves performing on ice while holding half moon. I hope they envisioned themselves clad in a furry, Johnny Weir-ish costume as they soared around the ice. Why isn't there more (faux) fur in yoga?

Photo credit: Elaine Thompson, AP


But I have a general Olympics fever that extends to snowboard cross, cross-country skiing and almost anything NBC airs except for ski jumping. Ski jumping is incredibly boring, fyi.

In my Olympics mania, I also stumbled across this story about snowboarder Shaun White. I think of Shaun White as a superhuman Carrot Top. It's the only explanation for why a man would grow his red curly hair to such lengths and also hurl himself down a half-pipe and do tricks my mind can't comprehend.

But the coolest part of the story was learning White and other snowboarders feel fear. I always innately knew they must get scared, but I reasoned that Olympic-caliber athletes weren't totally normal and thus not nearly as scared as the rest of us. They are. Snowboarder Louie Vito: "You know you're scared, but you use that fear to drive you. You just have to put your head around it and go for it. You tell yourself that, no matter what, you're going to do it. Because, if you don't commit, that's when the big accidents really happen."

Take out the possibility of broken bones or concussions and a few other exceptions like writing about terrorists, and I agree with that philosophy. My yoga teachers say fear is just a feeling. The rational side of me nods yes. The irrational side clings to it. It's easier to be afraid and do nothing than it is to go for something that seems scary. I'd even say that big accidents happen, figuratively of course, when fear is the driving force. What will really happen if you have that talk with a friend or loved one, you ask your boss for a raise or you step in front of a room full of yoga students? It never is as bad as envisioned and often is something we needed to do. As Jacky Kornfield would say, identifying the fear is the first step to letting it go.

1 comments:

Amber said...

I love how many great factors you pulled into one great story. Johnny Weir + Carrot Top + fear = good story!

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