Last year, I was out cross-country skiing on one of my favorite runs called Heckman. It’s an expert run, and it has a very long, grinding climb.
On that day, I was heading up Heckman and way in the distance behind me I saw a couple of skiers. As I continued to ski, I noticed that they were rapidly gaining on me – even though I was skiing as hard as I knew how to ski.
I was drenched in sweat, and I knew that it was only a matter of minutes before they passed me, so I thought:
“Well, I can’t out ski them so I might as well learn from them!”
I stopped and stood to the side, and I studied their technique, which was far more advanced than mine.
They were exerting FAR less energy than I was AND they were WAY faster!
That moment forever changed the way that I skied, and I have been working on that technique ever since. It has transformed me as a skier.
I hate to admit this, but I know in my younger days (when I was ultra-competitive about everything!), I would have found a way to dismiss why they were faster.
But I would have missed the learning.
Now, I just want to continue to get better.
It’s like Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose. I either win or learn.” If you want to hear more on this, check out this short episode.