Cross Country Skiing and Listening

When I started out cross country skiing today, I was totally listening to the world from a level 1. “I can’t do this. I’m cold.”   

In my workplace Leadership Academy, I learned there are three levels of listening:

  1. Listening to yourself  (at times, self consciously)
  2. Listening  to one other person (intently)
  3. Listening  to the room (the vibe)

After about 20 minutes of skiing, I found my rhythm. I may not have been elegant, but I was competent. And I could see the trees and the snow and the mountains.

After looking around, I began listening around. I was at level 3 — the greater room, the bigger world. Nature was my room, and the vibe was quiet.

There is a time when doing outdoor sports — or maybe any sports — when it is no longer possible to remain self-centered. Okay, yes, I can run with headphones on and stay in my head. But, at some point, I will be aware of a larger world around me. If I take the buds out of my ears, I can hear the sound of my feet hitting the sidewalk, a bird calling, or a dog barking.

Out in the snow today, the sounds were muffled and quiet. Occasionally a tree creaked as if in pain. There was nothing really much in the world to hear. Yet I was alive to the sounds and to the day. I forgot I was cold. I transcended myself.

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2 Comments to “Cross Country Skiing and Listening”

  1. OMG! I have never ever skied, I should do it some time 🙂 I am sure it must be fun , right?

  2. Every time I start my walks … the same thing happens – all tensed up at first and then 10 mins. into it – I see the world! Great post!
    Debbie 🙂

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