I’ve been reading Julien Smith’s new free e-book called The Flinch this week. It’s a sharp-witted and edgy piece about how fear prevents us from doing what we really want/need to do in our personal and professional lives and how we should face and conquer our fears to live a more fulfilled life. His first homework assignment is to jump into an ice-cold shower to face “The Flinch” head on.
Aside from cold showers, many people flinch at the thought of doing things alone. After all, intentionally being by yourself – even if you’re waiting for someone – can be a little intimidating. Thank god for iphones, right?
Whether it’s eating dinner solo, going to a movie or even shredding with you, yourself and you; it’s important to experience and enjoy your own company every once in a while. Here are 5 reasons why you should intentionally embark on an inbounds solo shred. (And I don’t mean solo the same way as “no friends on a powder day” and you lost your friends for a few laps.)
1) You can go exactly where YOU want to go – how many times have you gone with a big group and ended up hitting runs you weren’t super keen on? This is your chance to go exactly where you feel like going. And if you don’t know the mountain, this is your chance to explore (safely of course).
2) You can work on your mad skills – When we ride with other people, there isn’t a ton of time to stop and practice our skills. Maybe they’re way better than us or maybe they’re slower. Riding solo allows you to take the time to perfect your jumps ‘n jibs in the terrain park or just get faster and stronger by doing hot laps on a hard and fast groomer – or whatever else you feel like working on.
3) Time to take it all in – Often when we’re with a big crew, we forget to stop and smell that fresh alpine air, enjoy the views and even take a few tourist photos. When you’re on your own time, you’ve got all the time in the world to take it all in – and it’s a beautiful thing.
4) Go at your own pace – You’re not worrying about meeting up with friends at lifts or bombing to the next run in search of pow. Go as fast as you want or cruise and stop for a snack after every lap. It’s your day.
5) Meet new people – Often when we are cruising in numbers, we don’t take the time to talk to that outsider on the chairlift. Skiing or riding solo allows you to go outside your comfort zone and say hello to the person next to you. You never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet.
The recent bluebird days we’ve been experiencing are perfect and recommended for a solo session. So, next time you feel the flinch at the thought of skiing or riding solo, do it anyways. It might just be the stepping stone to making your life even more awesome than it already is.
**NOTE: If you’re going to ride solo, do it safely! We recommend trying this adventure inside the ski area boundary. Always tell people where you’re going, be careful of tree wells and creeks in the glades. Never venture into out of bounds zones without a partner.