Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trying Something New – The Benefits

Trying Something New – The Benefits
Chairboarding on the SkySki (It’s like an Air Chair) Part Deux

by Lauren Traub Teton

When you try something new, you become like a child again. Most things are new to kids. That is why kids have “childlike wonder.” If you, as an adult, keep doing the same familiar things, your sense of childlike wonder will go dormant. If you're Twifty, you want to try new things to stay fresh.

For example, yesterday I got to try riding a the SkySki chairboard. It was a little scary, it was new, to me, and my child mind said to me “I’ve never done this before, I don’t know how.” But my adult mind overruled it and said “you can learn this, you just saw people do it, they survived, you have the skills, it’s not that hard, and the downside and chance of injury is relatively low.”

I tried it, and had good success! I am thrilled at how that success at something brand new yesterday has flowed over into every aspect of my life today! I feel strong and invincible and successful and full of childlike wonder!

Once You’ve Ridden the Halfpipe,
There’s not much in an Office or Boardroom that can Really Throw You

One of the most exciting sports experiences I’ve ever had was learning to ride the halfpipe in snowboarding. Riding the halfpipe is a relatively safe area of freestyle snowboarding. Snowboard instructor and author Chickie Rosenberg, who is a fabulous snowboard rider and an over-60 Twifty says that the halfpipe is “like a baby’s playpen” and as a beginner there’s just no way for you to fall out. Chickie is the author of Snowboarding for Women: a guide for the Betty Shred wannabe and Snowboarding for Men: a Guide for Guys

Nonetheless, the first time you stand on your snowboard looking into the pipe and contemplating dropping in, it is a breathtakingly exciting prospect. Picture this, you’re on flat land, looking into a hollowed-out pipe in the snow, and getting ready to slide down the wall. Chickie Rosenberg says “the only scary part [of riding the halfpipe for the first time] is actually entering, sort of like going off a diving board as the surface drops from under you.”

In fact, it was a breathtaking experience for me for a couple of years. I have to say now it’s gotten kind of common for me, and in the last couple of seasons I’ve even found my mind able to have other thoughts while riding the pipe.

But the confidence that conquering the walls of the halfpipe gave me is immeasurable, and a real gift at this stage of my life. I’ve often said “once you’ve ridden the halfpipe, there’s not much in an office or boardroom that can really throw you.”

Want to go on a snow vacation with the Fun People, Twifties this winter? We're going to Winter Park again this year.

We had a great time last year. Come with us Feb. 11-15, 2009. This trip is for snowboarders, skiers, and anybody that wants to give it a try. All ages but the emphasis is on Twifties!

Want to learn to carve, on a snowboard or skis, old-school surf style, almost lying down on the snow as you glide down the hill, with your hand in the wave?! We will be riding with the newly founded ACA - American Carving Association this winter and we're all gonna learn to do it like our incredible athlete friend Ron "The Carvefather" Maita. We hope to have him join us in Winter Park on Feb 11-15.

You'll only have to watch the first 3 seconds of this 1 minute long vid of Ron's incredible carving on the snow to know that you're gonna want this for yourself, baby!

(Ron is also one of the 2 people I know who rides the SkySki -and does a rodeo on it - footage coming soon!

Your Expectations, and Riding the SkySki for the First Time

Your Expectations are Everything
Riding the SkySki for the First Time

(pictured, Ron "The Carvefather" Maita, founder of the American Carving Association, on his SkySki)

Yesterday I tried something kind of wild and new. I was with my Wednesdays Off crew on the lake, and after my wakeboard run I had a chance to ride a thing that doesn’t even have a generic name yet. But it’s a water ski with a chair on top and a hydrofoil on the bottom. The hydrofoil is like the one you might have seen Laird Hamilton ride under his surfboard in the awesome movie Riding Giants.

Two companies make this thing, that I know of, the brands are SkySki and Air Chair (Both great names btw and I should know cause I’m in the business of product naming in my other life. The name Air Chair rhymes and is easier for me to remember.)

The idea of the chairboard (let’s call it that) is that you can rise up and down like a merry go round horse on the hydrofoil, using the height that you hold the handle as the controller. Before you learn the up and down motion, you work on smoothly crossing the wake, back and forth. They tell me the chairboard crosses the wake like a hot knife through butter, but I wasn’t quite at that point yet. My friends do it, and even fly up in the air, landing jumps on the surface of the water smoothly. Amazing to watch!

But the point I want to make is that I tried a brand new sport that I had little background info on. I had seen 2 people ride it, both riding like champs. They made it look easy, so I tried riding it with the expectation that I could do it, and guess what! I had very good success from the first try!

On the other hand, my friend had seen these same 2 guys try to teach 15 people before me, on the thing, and most of them had not succeeded easily. She had a different experience set to make her judgment from, and her judgment was that it was hard to learn and would be hard for her.

By the way, I suspect the chairboard is a little easier for women to learn, because our center of gravity is right over the chair, whereas men’s is in their shoulders, making them top heavy.

Do you see how profoundly your expectations can influence your outcome?
Be aware and present when you think about your expectations. Expect the best! You deserve it! And when things go well for you, there is a pleasant ripple effect all around you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guitar Hero and Packing Cubes

Guitar Hero and Packing Cubes
by Lauren Traub Teton

Traveling gives us a chance to try new things. This week my travels allowed me to play Guitar Hero for the first time, and to use my beloved packing cubes inside my suitcase. Guitar Hero is a hoot and a half, and the packing cubes kept my goods neat and pulled together for travel.

Guitar Hero - you don't have to KNOW how to play the guitar to have fun!

Guitar Hero is a video game where you and your opponent wield toy Gibson guitars and compete for who can play the most correct notes in a song. I had seen it played by teenage boys before, but I hadn't previously noticed that you don't actually have to KNOW how to play the guitar to play this game. The 5 fret keys on the neck of the guitar are color-coded and you hit the guitar keys as the colored notes scroll toward you on a video pathway.

We played the song “Surrender" by Cheap Trick. Playing this game made me laugh out loud! After each round you receive instant gratification or mortification with a detailed point score breakdown, and your rock star avatar bows proudly or slinks offstage depending on how you did. Fun! Can't wait to play the new Aerosmith version they made for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and 3, and Wii.
Guitar Hero was first released on the PlayStation 2 in November 2005, in case you've been wondering why you haven't played it yet.

Packing Cubes

I've been using my Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes to organize my suitcases since my last trip to summer snowboard camp in the Alps. These soft-sided mesh topped zipper cubes are a fantastic way to keep your suitcase or duffle neat, pack plenty in, and best of all, find it.

Packing is almost fun now; just roll up your small clothing items and stuff them into a zippered mesh cube. Unpacking is a snap because you can just throw the neatly packed cubes into a drawer at your destination. Luggage inspection at the airport is a breeze too, because underwear or lingerie items won’t be dangling around in plain sight and your suitcase innards will look civilized. You can fit more in your suitcase too.

Other manufacturers make the cubes besides Eagle Creek, but I think Eagle Creek invented them and they have a large variety of shapes and colors and some patterns. Most importantly, their cubes have handles, so when you need a little bag to carry your book, sunscreen, and key to the pool on your trip, they’re really handy to use for that too.

Besides the cubes, the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder is a miraculous way to compress a pile of neatly folded clothes so you can fit plenty of shirts and pants in your carry-on and have them arrive still spiffy. It looks like a large envelope and opens out flat. It comes with a folding board so you’ll be able to fold your clothes as neatly as those tees stacked at the Gap. Just stack your clothes, wrap up the edges like a square old-school diaper, overlap the Velcro, and you’re off!