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"A Conversation with Fear" - impressions?

BlizzardBabe

Certified Ski Diva
#41
If only I could improve by reading books . . . sigh . . . I'd be a pro by now. Still, I lurve ski technique books. :race:
 
#43
I must be the only one who didn't get much out of it. Most of the time I was in the "Duh" mindset.
As I've mentioned elsewhere but not in this thread, I didn't make it thru the book the first time. I learned to ski as a teen and never had fear issues related to skiing. Also not a worrier in general. However, after a knee injury (not skiing) and spending a few months doing knee rehab then what Mermer wrote was helpful. At least, I read the entire book at that point.

My impression is that people who learn to ski as adults may find A Conversation with Fear more helpful. Reading the examples in the book made it easier for me to understand what feelings friends have when they are nervous on the slopes, regardless of whether they are beginners, intermediates, or advanced skiers.
 

BlizzardBabe

Certified Ski Diva
#44
The older I get the more fearful I become. I used to think nothing of entering 10+ mile open water swims and thought that kayaking in huge swells off the NJ Shore was "fun." I also thought that sliding down a glacier face on a Frisbee was a good idea. I console myself by thinking what I'm now experiencing is wisdom rather than fear.
 
#45
For those who missed it, @ski diva interviewed Mermer Blakeslee in 2018 for a blog post. It's a very good read!

A CHAT ABOUT FEAR WITH FEAR EXPERT MERMER BLAKESLEE

"SD: Mermer, I know you’re also the author of two novels [In Dark Water and Same Blood], yet you do all this work with skiing and fear. How do you reconcile the two?

MB: I know they seem diametrically opposed, but both of these disciplines come together in the core of my being. A lot of what I’ve done with fear and skiing is also what I’ll do with fear and writing. When you have a writing block, it’s because your expectations are high. You need an entrance ramp to get into either writing or skiing. You can’t just click in and be in the zone. It’s like when you come into music. You can’t just start dancing unselfconsciously. You may start out on the sidelines watching, then you may start moving a bit, then you slowly get drawn in. You have to find your process to actualize what you’re capable of doing.

One big difference between me and sports psychologists is that I treat the athlete as an artist. The psychologists deal with conditioned responses and overlook the creativity of the sport. I talk about skiing as a metaphor for any creative act. There’s always that moment where you have to give yourself up and let go. You know, I really love skiing just for itself. It doesn’t have to be a metaphor. But I find that because it’s such an emotional sport, the metaphor can easily transfer into people’s lives.


. . .

SD: Do you find that men and women have different approaches to fear?

MB: A lot of women don’t understand the amount of repetition that’s needed to become good at something. There’s a dichotomy in the psyche of many women. On one hand, they feel unathletic. On the other, they’re not aware of how much work it takes to improve, so they think they should be better than they are.

There are two approaches to fear. One is avoidance. You avoid going down a particular trail. A lot of women are like that. I call them Janes. You have to give them a push. Then there’s the person who rushes through fear. I call them Roberts. These are mostly men, though they could be women, too. For those people, you have to modify the rush.
. . ."
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#46
I learned to ski at 21. Not sure I was an "adult". ;-)
I read the book after slamming into a tree and having eighteen months of rehab. Then promptly breaking a knee cap, more surgery and rehab. Maybe because those injuries happened so long after I started skiing (35 years) I'd already thought much of what was in the book just due to having skied at that point (reading the book) for 42 years.

Side thought. I've been skiing for 47 years and I still suck. :-(
As I've mentioned elsewhere but not in this thread, I didn't make it thru the book the first time. I learned to ski as a teen and never had fear issues related to skiing. Also not a worrier in general. However, after a knee injury (not skiing) and spending a few months doing knee rehab then what Mermer wrote was helpful. At least, I read the entire book at that point.

My impression is that people who learn to ski as adults may find A Conversation with Fear more helpful. Reading the examples in the book made it easier for me to understand what feelings friends have when they are nervous on the slopes, regardless of whether they are beginners, intermediates, or advanced skiers.
 

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