02 September 2011

LAID-BACK SKIER: How the book idea began on Colorado's ski slopes

COLORADO COLLEEN ~ ALPINE SKIING demands one to be in the now with pretty much every potentially perilous turn. Part of the appeal of skiing lies in the sport's ability to focus the mind and body, and, in turn, the spirit.

Illustration by Patty Leidy for Friday Jones Pubishing. One of 38 original drawings for "Laid-Back Skier."

When I ski - especially on challenging terrain - I tend to think almost exclusively about what I'm doing. I consider my line, my turns, my form. I look for fresh snow, obstacles, other skiers. My awareness is attuned to the mountain and myself on the mountain.
If I start fretting about deadlines or bills or household tasks, I might fall and seriously injure myself. When I ski, my interior dialogue deals with skiing. On black diamond runs, I'm frequently coaching myself, consoling myself, sometimes bolstering my confidence.

Which is how I happened to begin creating short ski mantras for myself. The first was "Lead with your heart." Alpine skiers seek good posture with a lifted chest and no bend in the waist. Lead with your heart, I reminded myself while making runs down the mountain. Lead with your heart. Good advice for life in general, I realized.

And eventually I collected in my mind several ski mantras: "Stay focused." "Don't hold your breath." "Face your fear."
I added language from ski resort signs: "Respect others." "Know the code."
Skiing provides a metaphor for life's ups and downs. I began adding the preface, "As in skiing, so in life" to my ski mantras. Soon I had a string of these sayings and discovered I had the bones of a fun book about skiing.

As in skiing, so in life, sometimes we encounter bumps. That was true along the way with my new book; but I copies of "Laid-Back Skier: As In Skiing, So In Life" were delivered yesterday - just in time to get introduce this lighthearted volume before ski season opens again.
As in skiing, so in publishing: Expect ups and downs. Here I go, wagging my ski tales, trying to stay balanced, and hoping to enjoy the ride. Whee!

"LAID-BACK SKIER" is the second title by Friday Jones Publishing. Friday was my beloved dog and remains my muse. A three-legged shelter rescue dog with health issues her entire life, Friday was diagnosed with cancer at age six. In an intense, alternative medicine clinical trial, she lived to age 15.5 people years, exemplifing an indominable underdog spirit.

For more information, visit FridayJonesPubishing.com and see LAID-BACK SKIER tab. Wag your tale.

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