Monday, March 19, 2012


ah. it just sounds good.
the word is smooth, fast, it pulls you along with it.

I came across this word yesterday in a book describing a swimming scene, "he moved into her slipstream, following her in the narrow lane," and I immediately felt the protective cushion of air, the lightening of the workload that I feel when I've moved into the slipstream of a cyclist in front of me.
it's like a tailwind: a magical push or pull that makes life dramatically better.

that might sound over the top, but the impact of these things---a cyclist in front of me, a tailwind behind---is powerful. it's said that drafting another cyclist cuts your workload by 20 percent or so, and a good tailwind could certainly do the same. 20 percent is significant.
but of possibly even greater importance, the slipstream and the tailwind give you a partner out there.
someone on your side.
someone (or thing) helping you out, sharing the work, partnering up with you.

this is the beautiful thing about partnership: you get to be each other's slipstreams. one buoys the other up, one clears the path for the other, one gives a push or a pull. the sense of shared purpose, task, duty, or even fun enhances the experience for both.
the one in the lead can feel proud, generous, strong, while the one behind is able to feel gratitude, admiration of the other, appreciation, perhaps relief.

life is filled with opportunities to provide slipstreams for others.
last night I was that for my daughter through listening, providing options, offering assistance.
often you can create a slipstream simply by smiling, by holding a door open, by accepting someone into your awareness.
you can be a tailwind by providing tools and backing away. by teaching and then letting go. by holding on until its time to give one last push, then release your grip.

slipstreams and tailwinds.
they are beautiful things, and today, I am going to remind myself to be one or the other, all day long. it might be interesting to see what would happen if we all did.


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