3 Things I Learned While Snowboarding That Can Help You Be Your Best
Written by Dr. Larry
On a weekend trip with my daughter to Tahoe, where I continued to learn to snowboard (it’s been years, but I’m still a beginner somehow) gave me time to reflect on 3 things that apply to me and you both when it comes to being our best and getting better, from weight loss and diet and exercise, to character and career.
1. ONE THING AT A TIME
As I relate in the video, when I shut out the noise and all the opinions telling me 20 different, often contradicting things I needed to do to get better, I actually finally improved when I really did the following:
Focused on one thing at a time.
In my experience with patients, I have so many tools, strategies, and different things I can offer. Hundreds of things, way more than anyone needs. But what I find, is that it often only takes 1 or 2 small adjustments, or tweaks, for them to go in the right direction. It’s more of a nudge than a complete overhaul.
Further, if they just focus on these one or 2 things, and really get it solid, I mean nailed into their character and fiber—in the long run, that’s a champion.
So let me ask you–what is one thing (not 2 and not 12), but just one thing that you could focus on now to be your best you?
My fumblings on a snowboard reminded me of this.
2. ALWAYS PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE OF YOUR LIFE AND GOALS.
I’m nuts. I’m one of these types who can go from zero to absurd in seconds. I need to work on snowboarding, so I’m going to get a coach, read a book, look at some how to board channels on you tube, get one of those balance boards to practice on at home, and on and on and on. Pure insanity.
Really, for what? I’m not trying out for anything, let alone the Olympics. What are my goals and what is snowboarding in my life. This is just to have fun, to get away with my daughter and friends and have a good time. Not to be insane and compete for championships and A pluses.
Put it in perspective, bro. So I came up with a little motto (that I obsessively repeated on the slopes this past weekend)–Have fun and get a little better each time. It works, and is exactly what I want to get out of this.
To burden my already busy life with training and screen time for snowboarding would not be in alignment with my goals. It would be insanity, and must be stopped.
I ask you again–is there anything similar in your life? How do your actions and activities reflect your goals and values? Are they all in alignment? What stops you from putting things in perspective that’s right for you and your life?
3. OBSERVE YOUR SELF TALK
As the snowboarding successes and failures (plenty of both, of course) mounted throughout the day, I became observant of how I reacted internally (emotions) to each, and the language that went along with it.
I began to observe when I hear the little voice inside my head saying the following:
“Fuck yeah, that’s right. Who’s the man? Who’s the muthafuckin man.”
All of this celebratory profanity for a grown man going down a green, about 50 yards behind his daughter.
But that happened to be the self talk when I was doing my best. It made me laugh, but was a real thing, and I think helped my performance (clearly a 9.0 for my division).
Conversely, the language when I’m not the man.
“Pathetic. Disaster. Lorenz–seriously? Are you fucking kidding?”
Negative self talk. Making the spills feel even worse.
Step 1, awareness. Total consciousness.
Step 2, only relate to yourself in an empowering, uplifting way. One that builds up, not one that tears down. Be a friend or coach to yourself. What would your ideal coach/friend say to you when you fall?
Now the caveat is that a good friend/coach should be supportive, but also challenging. I think too often coaches can too powerfully use the negative to motivate, which can be effective–but let’s refer to principle #2 above–you are not playing for the national championship. This is life, and you’re much better off dusting yourself off saying, “I can do this” as opposed to “you clown!”
Now to you. In the next few days, I just want you to observe your own self talk, especially in good times and in bad. And pay attention to how it makes you feel, how it functions for you. Does it help, enhance, or get you closer to your goal? Or is it something that you can trade out for a better way.
Have fun. Get a little better everyday.