27 December 2010

Reach Your Peak: Lessons in Life and Snowboarding

Yesterday, for the first time in 2 years, I hit the slopes at Ski Apache in Mescalero, NM. Today, it was painful to toss the covers off and get out of bed.  Tumbling downhill  Snowboarding really takes it out of you, but it was a blast! As I listened to my more seasoned friends and the resort's instructors, I realized that many guidelines in snowboarding can be used in everyday life.

1. Set your sights in the direction you want to go, and do not stray.  It's been proven that you will generally travel in the direction on which you are focused, voluntarily or involuntarily.

2. Know your limits. Push them, sure. But know them.  If you try to hop on the steepest slope your first time, for the sake of impressing, you will embarass and likely injure yourself. Take the small steps to the top, and you will appreciate your journey that much more.


3. Better safe than sorry. I was the only one in my group who opted to rent a helmet. It looked kind of nerdy. I was also the only one who flipped and went airborne. Thank God for my cautious nature.

4. Never give up. In fact, expect and accept failure. At some point, you will fall. You're fighting against greater forces. Like gravity. So just anticipate the falls, and brace yourself to get back up, despite the fact that you will inevitably fall again.

5. Find your balance. It is the only way to stay afloat. Stay attuned to your own needs and strengths. Know how much is too much, and you will eventually know how much is just right.

6. Your greatest opponent is yourself. Always. It is not a competition. Nobody around you is worried about going faster or smoother than you do. The more experienced people are worried only about bettering themselves. They just hope you keep out of their paths. The less experienced people are focused on not falling again. The only person over whom you must prevail is your current self.

"In the mountains, the shortest way is from peak to peak; but for that you must have long legs." - Friedrich  Nietzsche

08 December 2010

Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-idays Contest

My friend Lacretia of ReadyHeart blog recently posted about Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-idays Contest, and I was ecstatic! Chronicle Books is giving away up to $500 worth of books to one blogger and one lucky blog commenter! We all know I love books, and free books are that much better.

All you have to do is post a list of books (valued at a total of $500 or less) on your blog by December 10th to enter.  If you win, you get the whole stack of books, and so does one person who commented on your post about the Haul-iday Contest post. That's it! You'll find my list below.  Make sure you comment to enter for your chance to win with me!

The Writer's Tool Box
IDEO Eyes Open: London
Paper + Craft
Little Book of Letterpress
Creative, Inc.
Work It: Visual Therapy's Guide to Your Ultimate Career Wardrobe
Fitness 9 to 5
Kitchen Sticky Notes
Thinking With Type
Writer's Workshop in a Book
The Observation Deck

Grand Total: 499.65

07 December 2010

Immanuel: The Reason for the Season

Christmas is upon us.  I'm so proud; I've nearly completed my shopping. Thank you, God, for Amazon!

Sunday in church, our minister talked about what Christians merrily dub "the reason for the season," better known as Jesus Christ.  It is so easy to get caught up in all the hooplah of holiday shopping and office parties and forget why we celebrate.

What really touched me was how Max Lucado interpreted the story of Christmas.  He said that what some may refer to as the most important moment in history was clothed in so much normalcy.  An ordinary Joe and Mary had a baby in a homely manger. They were in Bethlehem to pay their taxes, as most ordinary people are required. And yet, THE something miraculous came of it. 

God makes ordinary moments extraordinary.  He makes normal people reach their potential.  He walks among us.  Immanuel- "God with us."

I thought I'd share this video. It really captures the spirit of Christmas. The Opera Company of Philadelphia turned a stressful, hectic shopping holiday into a miraculous moment to behold.  They really raised the spirits of some Macy's shoppers, and this video has lifted my heart. Enjoy!