Saturday, October 15, 2011

looking ahead

a while back I wrote about carving curves, about the joy and exhilaration that comes with such activity.
big mountain has a few curves, and four big switchbacks in the last two point something miles to the top. on the way up they provide relief, and oftentimes alternating headwinds and tailwinds with each change of direction.
on the way down, though, they provide opportunities for curve carving.
as I moved into the first one this morning, I thought about those possibly conflicting bits of advice: keep your eye on the ball, and look where you want to go.
so I kept my eyes on the road, and focused on that point, out in the distance, of where I wanted to be as I moved through the turn.
and I curved, carved, ended up exactly where I wanted to be.
the next switchback worked the same way.
but then on the third, I suddenly found myself moving too quickly, unable to brake enough, and moving so far into the lane that I crossed the double yellow line into the oncoming lane.
what happened?
I don't know, but it was such a different experience from the first two, scaring me a bit, reminding me that I'm not quite there yet. (you know, that infamous there, that place we'll all be when we can do everything as the experts do.)
did I shift my gaze too far down, too close, instead of looking further out? was I overconfident in my ability? I am not sure.
but for the rest of my descent I focused on that constantly moving spot in the distance where I eventually wanted to be.
peripheral vision kicks in and helps me scan for road debris, potholes, cracks in the surface, but my eyes stay softly focused down, down ahead, where I will momentarily be, always stretching just a bit further to my next future.

I hear wise words in the back of my brain, don't sweat the small stuff, don't focus on the details, keep your eye on your goal, don't be distracted by what are actually insignificant things along your path.

just keep looking ahead, stretching your way into your goal, your next position, your next best version of yourself, and carve your pathway there gently, with strength and wisdom and oh yes, just a bit of faith.

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