Tuesday, January 12, 2016


"I found the tree!" my friend shouted. She was behind me as we skiied the trails on my acreage. These are not groomed trails and definitely not engineered and safety-approved ones. They are rough and ragged, 'as-the-coyote-meanders'-type trails, up and down hills and through the forest.

I knew exactly which 'tree' my friend had found. I'd 'found' it myself many times--kissed it hello with a ski on each side and my arms around its middle.

Then I learned a vital lesson and never hit it again. When cross country skiing you must, above all else, focus on where you want to go. For if you lift your eyes from the trail for so much as a quick glance at that tree, you'll ski right into it.

It's strange, but true, how expertly the eye leads the body. I learned I did not have to concentrate on leaning or braking or putting my pole down, in order to navigate that winding downhill slope. I simply have to keep my eyes on the trail.

This blog of course, is not a cross-country ski lesson. It's a driving lesson.

I remember when teaching my kids to drive, their difficulty mastering a series of highway curves on the way to our lake lot. They wobbled across the centre line, the shoulder line, hit the brakes...totally panicked if a vehicle came the other way.

"Just keep your eyes on where you want to go," I told them. "Look at your lane as far ahead as you can see. Don't look at the lines, or the ditch, or the pond. And for heaven's sake don't look at that car coming towards us!" Sure enough, not only can one's eyes direct one's body through ski trails in a forest, they can also direct a car around curves.

This is an important fact to remember if you're ever faced with a sudden obstacle while driving. Don't look at the obstacle, you'll hit it--whether it be a box, a deer or a child. Look at the path you need to take to avoid it.

Of course, this blog isn't a ski lesson or a driving lesson.

This blog is a life lesson.

What are you focused on?

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