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How Snowboarding Relates to Life

black diamond hillFirst of all, sorry for not making a post for a few days, but I decided to completely unplug and relax for once. I didn’t bring my laptop, didn’t answer the phone, and asked all of the coaches on my team to hold off on any questions or emails until I got back today. It was a much needed trip, and now I’m back, refreshed, mind clear, and ready to get back to helping all of you reach your goals.

For those of you who don’t know, I went snowboarding this weekend at Holiday Valley with a few buddies of mine, one who you probably know, Tommy Mygrant. After coming down one of the hills, Tommy and I got into a great discussion about how snowboarding relates so much to life, failure, success, and helps you understand how people function. You might be sitting there thinking, how in the world is snowboarding a metaphor for life? There’s more similarities than you would think.

If you know Tommy and I, we are driven cholerics, meaning we don’t ever quit until we succeed. We love challenges, competition, failing, and even more, succeeding. When we started talking about the success we have had as the top Beachbody Coaches, the more we discovered how much it compared to what we were experiencing while snowboarding. How? When someone first starts snowboarding or skiing, they fear falling, so they start off on the smallest hill possible, the bunny hill. For the first few hours, they fall, get up, try again, and then repeat the entire process over and over again. Every single time they fall, they learn something that will help them not fall the next time. Frustration might settle in, and some may quit, but others will keep trying until they feel comfortable enough to try a new challenge, to take one more step forward.  It might take some 2 weeks of snowboarding every day to catch on, and others 2 days, but it doesn’t matter as long as they are moving forward, progressing.

Most people eventually conquer the bunny hill, and then move to a larger, steeper hill. The confidence that once was high because they were able to get down the bunny hill without falling now disappears as they stand at the top, looking down at at the bottom. Fear sets in again, and some may move back to the bunny hill, but others will attempt to take on this new challenge. Because it’s a larger and steeper hill, they are going to fall over and over again until they learn how to adjust and keep themselves balanced. Soreness, fatigue, injuries, might occur, but every single time they fall, they think about why they fell, fixed the problem, got back up and tried again. The adversity might scare some people off, but there are still a select few that will stay in it, learn, and move forward.

After they are able to successfully go down the average hill many times without falling, some feel the urge to test themselves again, get better, move forward, and try going down the Black Diamond hills. If you don’t know what the Black Diamonds are, they are the toughest hills to go down. They are larger, steeper, than any of the hills on the mountain. The risk of injury increases, and fear alone stops many people from attempting these hills. Many people will settle for the average hills and never progress, but there are a very small amount of people that are willing to take the risks. They stand at the top of the hill, look down, ask themselves what the heck they’re doing, but the drive to succeed pushes them to try it, to fail, just so that they can move forward. They go down the hill, fall, get back up, fall again, adjust, and learn how to go down the hill successfully without falling and injuring themselves. Falling is an expectation, and something that every successful snowboarder or skier knows has to happen to succeed.

Hopefully you all caught on about how this compares to life. So many people let fear control their lives. They fear stepping outside of their comfort zone because they don’t want to fail. Many people don’t attempt going down Black Diamond hills because they don’t want to fall. However, successful people know that failing is the path to success. They have to fail over and over and over again so that they can learn about why they failed, make the necessary adjustments, and then move forward. There are only a select few at the top because people fear going to the next step. It was interesting because when we started snowboarding on Friday, we started on the bunny hill, and there were quite a few people there. Shortly after we moved to the average hill, which was completely packed, but when we moved to the blue and black diamond hills, there weren’t as many people. In fact, there were a few Black Diamond hills that had nobody on them except us. We are driven to succeed, and accept failure because we know it will help us move to the next level.

2 comments

  1. great post Josh!! I must confess I have failed at snowboarding and quit 🙂 but I do ski and used to teach skiing so I think that you are right on about fear! That is something that I have been changing in my life. Keep moving forward!

  2. Or, as they say, keep falling/failing forward! 🙂 Great post Josh!

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