Life in the Fall Line: What Skiing and Success Have In Common

Updated: Feb 9

As someone who learned to ski in their 30's, there is no moment more REAL than looking down your first ski slope with sudden terrifying awareness that you have slippery sticks strapped to your feet and the only way out is down. A sport where success (and fun…?) requires leaning into the steep downhill of the mountain, aka "the fall line," while trusting you won't actually fall face forward and break every bone in your body.

Embracing that fall line was an experiential life lesson on navigating the risks needed to succeed. While it will aways feel easier to choose safety, meaningful achievement requires risk: a constant calculation of costs/benefits and humbly bowing to moments that call you to courageously lean into fear's sharp trajectory (and trust it delivers).

As much as we are tempted to avoid it at all costs, risk is never a one-and-done experience. The very point of skiing is to play on that steep downhill again and again (because who buys an $180 lift ticket to be scared just once?!). Risk is the repeated vulnerability of leaning into life's fall line. Vulnerability is the cost of admission for all of life’s greatest experiences. Lean in, heart forward: the momentary discomfort of stepping into your courage will never outpace the abundance it produces.

Reflections on the vulnerability of risk:

  • Where is life putting you in the fall line?

  • Where do you need to lean in to risk to create success?