In my youth I wrestled between alpine or cross-country ski racer.  One certainty was that I was not going to be a nordic ski jumper.  For alpine race training we would use the outrun (the landing area) of a 50-meter jump as an area to practice our downhill aerodynamic technique.  The experience of pointing the skis straight for a four second ride straight down the steep pitch was heart pounding enough that I could not imagine adding the in-run and then springing into the air to soar over the contour of the outrun.  A few years later I had the opportunity to visit the top of the Olympic 90-meter jump tower in Lake Placid, NY.

I recall standing on the platform and being quite convinced that no sane person would willingly place their skis in-line and swoop off to defy gravity for a hundred meters of flight.  Talking with a couple thirteen year olds who were preparing to jump from the “smaller” 70-meter facility we learned that they had made the first attempts on the big hill around the age of eleven.  The enthusiasm of youth defeated any self-preservation circuit breakers.  Their normal was based on experiences that had expanded their perception of reasonable activity far beyond mine when it came to the concept of flight and skiing.

What activities do you participate in that are unimaginable to others?  How can you use your perspective to inspire others?

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