Off piste

ox.jpgI got back from a weekend snowboarding trip in Laax a week ago. With plenty of fresh powder around I spent most of the trip off piste. How very enjoyable.

Also, I’ve been listening to Seth Godin’s Linchpin lately. And voila it became clear that Seth’s book is actually about snowboarding and that going going off piste is more like career or even life choice, and not just another outdoors activity.

Seth argues that the modern education system coupled with capitalism is made to produce small cogwheels that keep the machine going, leaving little room for individuality, creativity, fulfillment and rewards. And this machine worked back in the last century but with recessions, layoffs and jobs moving abroad it’s broken now. As a fix he advocates becoming a linchpin ie. a driving creative force that does more that just maintains status quo, taking the road less travelled. Not really rocket science but wouldn’t you agree the man has a point.

Switching gears – ski pistes usually reasonably well cared (perhaps less so in the afternoons) for and marked so you’re not likely to get lost or hurt yourself. You’re also not very likely to have too much fun once you’ve progressed from beginner to intermediate. Pistes are a bit crowded, there are some really boring bits, there may be really bad euro-techno-schlagers blasting from the speakers and lastly you’re going where someone thought you should be going, where everyone else is going.

Off piste on the other hand is where your travel insurance turns into a worthless piece of paper, you increase your chances of scratching your board really bad and you probably have to take unpleasant hikes every now and then. It’s also the reason why most people snowboard. You enjoy yourself much more and if you fu*k up you learn a valuable lesson (or not, and you’ll just learn to walk in thick powder better.)

So yes, let’s look for these fresh powder areas in life, and let’s strive for pushing the envelope of realizing synergies with gravity and water vapor frozen into ice crystals on the slopes. Rock on.

Photo courtesy of Smithers, model is Oxx on our off piste mission just before the bit in the forest.

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