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What snowboarding can teach you about balance (which has nothing to do with snow!)

Ever felt a week fly by in a flash, as if you were locked in a private bubble where normal rules just didn’t apply? We’ve just finished our last day of snowboarding in the Alps and it’s been a week of conquering fears, overcoming insecurities, gritting my teeth and hurling myself down the side of a mountain.

Top of the World

When it works, it can give an amazing sense of fun and accomplishment. Until I get to that point, I have to force myself out there, because making ourselves do things that scare the living daylights out of us has to be a good thing. Doesn’t it?!

Hannah mastering the board!

Since we came back from Australia in January we have been in total ‘work mode’. It has consumed us and left little room for anything else. We have a few months away experiencing the beauty of a new place, new people, new challenges. Then we return and our horizons shrink dramatically. Life becomes about our office, clients, projects. As it is for a lot of people, work is the thing which dominates our thoughts, shapes our days and without wanting to be too melodramatic about it, kind of sucks the fun out of us.

What has been interesting about this snowboarding trip is that we have been consumed in a completely different way. Whereas at home we talk for hours about business plans, here we re-live the day on the slopes, analysing every turn, every run. There doesn’t seem the room or the will to talk about much else; we are very much focused on the task at hand to the exclusion of all else.

Always time for a G&T and a beer!

For several months a year we head abroad. We pack up our office and take it with us to a new country. We know that for a lot of people this seems crazy, a waste of time, money, effort. But this week, having experienced a totally different pinpoint of all our energies, I have gained a better understanding about WHY it works. When we go away, no ONE thing overwhelms us. We create a daily rhythm that matches our new environment, for instance, taking long walks along the beach at sunset, going to local fresh food markets, hiking in the mountains AND running a business. No part of our life is compromised or overshadowed but all the components flow together.

Taking our office and relocating to somewhere beautiful restores a natural balance which seems so hard to maintain at home. It boosts our creativity and optimism; it recharges our batteries and lets us re-learn to appreciate every day things which can all add up to a deep sense of wellbeing. We achieve more, learn more, are open to new and inspiring and things. Of course it’s fun and indulgent; but it’s also really good for us, and perhaps more surprisingly, great for our business.

So this week, I had learnt to slide down the steep side of a snow covered mountain at (moderate!) speed without breaking any bones. I also came to realise that as rewarding as it is to achieve something based on uncompromising, intense effort, it isn’t sustainable in the long term. You reach a peak, and then can do more harm than good. The key really is in the balance.

It's all about balance

So my questions for you; are you letting one or two aspects of your life consume you? Is your drive and determination also your blind spot? What could better balance mean to you? And most importantly, what’s stopping you!

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2 Responses to “What snowboarding can teach you about balance (which has nothing to do with snow!)”

  1. This is great! It’s amazing what your mind is freed up to ponder on when your body is at work. I know the “problem” of living on our “yacht” in the Caribbean full-time may seem a little bit like “my diamond shoes are too tight”, but I’d love to balance it with time back home, in Austin. I’m currently working out a way to spend half the year here and half out there – perhaps that’s where my balance lies. Thanks for the refreshing perspective!

    • Getting that balance is tricky but it can be had Laurie, your yacht adventure does sound amazing! C

      • Hannah and Chris
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