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Skii: the Present

February 17, 2011

When we visit a new place, we experience a heightened awareness of our present. We gaze at the beautiful view in the foreign country, listen to a language other than our own and perhaps try to say a few new words. We smell the exotic food, and maybe sit down at a restaurant to taste something extraordinarily different and new. As tourists, we live in the moment. We forget about the past and the present and live intensely in the now.

In a way, being a tourist is not that different from being a first time skier zooming down a slope, totally  aware of every moment. You need to be fully engaged with all five senses while skiing if you want to enjoy it. It also helps you avoid running into trees or slipping in the snow, like I did many times while learning. This January, I had the opportunity to join an MIT ski trip to Sunday River, Maine. With the help of friends, I used my tourist attitude.

I had a great time the first two days skiing, but by the morning of the third day I was beat up. I wanted to avoid skiing. I was sick of falling in the snow every 10 minutes. The temperature was minus 25 degrees (I learned that at a certain point the negative point of Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same), and my laziness levels were off the charts. Fortunately, the friends who invited me persuaded me to go skiing with them instead of staying in my room and arguing with myself. They helped me live in the moment.

That day, Carolina and Arturo encouraged me to take a class to improve my skills. At first, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, I felt that I had learned enough by falling so much, but in the end I accepted the challenge. It was a great decision. I met a fabulous instructor who cheered me up and made me think about the importance of being grateful. I was having fun skiing again and it was because this instructor showed me a few ways to be a better skier and encouraged me. Her name is Michelle, and she’s very passionate about her job. Her energy that day was extremely contagious. She’s been teaching at Sunday River for ten years and she still sees every day on the mountain as a new adventure, every day a tourist moment. Like she says, “If you love what you do, every moment is different.”

-Mario

TIP: Appreciate and enjoy every season of the year. Don’t allow the cold winter to bring you down, and if you have the opportunity to ski, do it!

You can also visit www.toursitattitude.com to find more information about this topic.

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