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The Thousand Invisible Layers

When I was first learning to ski the slalom course, I sat in the boat watching people who could run the course thinking “How hard could that be?” I learned to get up on a slalom ski at age 15. Just doing that felt like a huge accomplishment. I would get up, celebrate that I was actually skiing, and then drift from side to side over the wake, feeling very competent. Then I saw the ski course. These skiers weren’t drifting over the wake. They were rocketing through the wake and throwing up a big spray, making a big turn around the buoy and rocketing to the other side. It looked so elegant – and easy. My first time to try the course, and with my attitude of “how hard could that be?”, the first of the thousand invisible layers hit me in the face. Or more accurately, went down my throat. With almost no coaching, I got behind the boat, said “hit it” and got up, celebrating as I always do. Before I knew it, we were in the course and it was time for me to make a move. I leaned to the left, thinking I was doing it just like the skiers I had just been watching. I took such an ugly fall it hurt. Water went up my nose, down my throat and into places water should not be. Ouch. What I had seen them do and what I was able to do myself was worlds ...
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