Originally Posted by Ghost
Be careful out there Weems.
I can see DH being scary for some, but other than performance anxiety, I can't imagine a slalom or GS being scary.
Thanks, Ghost. I agree, and I'm a very conservative rider. Passion, in my case is not about excessive risk, but in fact the contrary. For example, I just don't see myself ever going 110 mph. I am looking at riding more as a pilot looks at flying. Errors are really costly, so you need to pay attention to detail. And I did crash once--very big time--in my twenties--with big time consequences.
I still haven't done the powerslide we talked about, and will probably go learn that on a small dirt bike. The point of learning it is so that I can manage it when it happens, or choose it when I need it, rather than be paralyzed by it.
I also know the basic rule that all "cagers" are trying to kill you--as are all woodlands animals. On top of that, there are traps and surprises on empty roads that need attention. The game with fear here is to do what you can to lower the odds of major damage (by attitude, skill acquisition, equipment choice, safe decision making, etc.)
However, that is the point: ATTENTION. Attentions, awareness, focus, presence, anticipation--these are all elements that add to the soup of staying alive--intensely alive.
On the other hand, to be shut down by anxiety is not a great way to live. Again, this is one of the great beauties of skiing: it allows EVERYONE to deal with these kinds of anxieties at his or her own level, and learn (or not) to manage it.
I even think there is some in slalom and gs, although not with the intensity of the others. All racers have seen or experienced horrific (but not life threatening) injuries racing all events. If you've blown your knee once, there has to be just a bit of anxiety about doing it again. The best comeback artists manage this very well.
And, Ghost, you're right. As you crash, fear recedes into the clutter of events. But that's not a great way to manage fear!!