I have talked about letting go in a ski racing context here. It is the essence of the performance—the way to access the subconscious—that part of us that is genius, but it’s so difficult. In the start of a ski race, I tried to convince myself that I’d made a mistake before breaking the timing wand, or I reduced the entire run to a race to the first gate—just race to the first gate and the rest will take care of itself—something to jar myself into letting go. Letting go stood between my best performance and me every race. Even when I achieved that transcendent state, I never owned it, never owned the process, and now I confront it again.
From the moment that I decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, people have come to me. None of them told me that I was crazy, as I’d suspected. Instead, they wanted to be involved—wanted to help. They were drawn by the climb, and even more by my dream. I told them that I wanted to climb to make the world notice me and people like me. My friends and people I didn’t even know, jumped on board, but still, I moved slowly—hesitant to let go. Throughout the process, I’ve often said that I just need to get out of the way. This project, which is becoming a business, has a life of its own. I’ve often heard artists talk about their work as if they don’t really own it. It’s as if they are just conduits. That’s the way I feel, but yet I try to maintain control—try to move slowly so that I can understand.
Letting go remains the issue. I have begun to surround myself with great people, breaking from my history of trying to do it all myself, but still there is a fear. There’s a fear that we won’t do enough and there’s a fear that we’ll do too much. Too much sounds like a strange fear. I acknowledge its irrationality, but it’s based in a sense of insecurity. I’m as scared of the questions, “Who do you think you are?” “Why should you do this?”
It’s a valid question. Who do I think I am? I can answer it in a variety of different ways. I’m a guy who’s been successful in both the winter and summer Paralympics—and not only successful, but successful in the two marquee sports, but I think it goes further than that. I do well in front of the camera. I have a great network that will help me make this a success. I get along well with people and draw them into my dreams. I keep pushing to achieve. And I think I have something profound to say and the ability and desire to say it. But all of that still sounds like holding on.
Letting go is a different answer. Who do I think I am and why should I do this project?
My answer to that: Because I’m the one who’s doing it. How’s that for letting go?1 comment