Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does snowboarding make you happy? The Zen snowboarder

Does snowboarding make you happy? The Zen snowboarder

The answer appears obvious. However, let's go deeper.  I'll use a theme of Zen snowboarding to do this. Ok, before you think here we go, just another hippy shredder getting all spiritual. Let's just open our minds, and think objectively for a moment.

You are a snowboarder  That's why you're here. Right? When you strap on your snowboard and just ride, it's fun. No doubt about it. Now add the idea of Zen to the mix and what's created is an awareness of snowboarding.

Zen is about being in the moment.  The word literally translates to 'meditation'.   So what's meditation got to do with snowboarding? Well, an example is this.

You're about to drop-in to a jump. It's bigger than you're comfortable with. Your heart races, as does your mind. What if you don't hit it with enough speed and bounce off the knuckle? What if you hit it with too much speed, over-shoot and explode on impact. Just thinking of the 'what ifs' and the consequences affects you.

Intentionally or not  It's precisely at this moment that you become a Zen snowboarder. There is no past or future, you are in the moment. You're meditating because you are purely focused on perfectly conquering that jump.

You're in the air. Boom! How did that happen.  Bliss!  You've landed. Now, you are euphoric. You've internalized all these feelings in that one beautiful moment. This is snowboarding at its best. Only now you're ready to share your happiness with your shred friends. High-fives and smiles. You're part of a community of snowboarders collectively spreading the joy. Yessss!

Let's explore an alternative situation. You are sat at your desk within a four-walled office. You're trying to hide the fact you're chatting away on Facebook to numb this monotonous existence. All you can think about is snowboarding. It hurts. You're in pain and unhappy. It's as if you're trapped with no means of escape.  Mr 9 to 5 firmly has you in his claws. Nooooo!!!

Just an idea.  Perhaps become zen and escape, although metaphorically, just for a moment. In other words it's focused shred-dreaming.  You're free, but just for that moment.  Enjoy it before your boss catches you!

Or, you can go snowboarding and do it literally, for real. The choice is yours.

So there you have it. Snowboarding does, albeit with a Zen spin, make you happy. It's your choice how you make that moment happen.  

Written by Adam Bowcutt

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