Catching and Edge, Experts Only and metaphors


I work hard to live eyes wide open, but even those efforts can not prepare me for the edge I sometimes catch.  Skiing this weekend, I was reminded how easy it is to think that everything is going exactly as it should and then you’re caught off guard.  I’m practicing the form my ski-Sargent taught me, and everything about the snow feels right until all of a sudden I hit a patch of ice, my ski catches an edge and I’m no longer standing.

There is something so powerful about metaphors.  They are able to take the unknown and connect it with the known.  For those of you who have skied you know what “catching an edge” is or what a “yard sale” is.  If you have ever “caught an edge” you know that it’s unexpected and usually results in taking you out.  I caught a couple edges and recovered, literally and figuratively.  Even after years of experience and practice, enough that I’m comfortable with the idea of “experts only” terrain, I am still thrown edges that land me in a yard sale of memories I didn’t think I’d have to piece back together.

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In class today, we were asked who our favorite elementary school, middle school and high school teachers were.  I realized that one of the greatest edge’s I’ve caught in life so far left those memories still at a yard sale in the recesses of my mind.  Maybe there are times we never really get over a crash, maybe there are edges that catch us off guard and render us immobile, but I think there comes a time when we are able to face the fall, pick all our gear back up, lock in our boots, and try to ski again.

I’m definitely procrastinating from a mountain of grading but am wondering…when’s the last time you caught an edge?

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