As you know, I’ve recently come back from a cross-country skiing trip in Finland. Unless you’re only going to ski on frozen lakes, you do need to be able to go up and down so the first day of our trip was spent refreshing our technique. Going uphill is a rather ungainly affair as you ‘herring-bone’ your way up, willing yourself to keep going and not start sliding backwards.
Going downhill is much more fun. If you’re not already a downhill skier, at first it can seem terrifying and you have a tendency to hold your body very upright and stiff, with tensed limbs and gritted teeth (or maybe that’s just me). Big mistake. The first time you hit any kind of bump, your tense body can’t counterbalance in time, your centre of gravity is in completely the wrong place and you smack into the snow at great speed. Not much fun.
Our guide, the ever-patient Petri, explained to us how we needed to change our stance. ‘Keep your weight forward. Flex your ankles. Shoulders forward. Bend your knees. When you ski with your knees bent, you’re ready to react. You can shift your weight into a turn. You can stand a little taller to increase wind resistance to slow you down. Your knees absorb the shock of any bumps in the trail. Bent knees mean you stay agile.’
‘Agility’ is a word you often hear in the world of work these days. As businesses and individuals, we can’t be set in our ways any more and resistant to change. If our stance is rigid rather than flexible, the bumps in the working trail will throw us off course and we’ll have a face full of snow whilst the bent knees bunch will speed on past us.
Today’s pebble for your thoughts: are you agile and ready to react?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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