My early race coach told me I would never remember the best run of my life. It took me like ten years to know what he meant by that statement. I learned not to take it literally. Of course i would remember what run it was, but I wouldn't remember the details. "Skiing on the edge" as it is often referred, I believe, refers a lot to skiing instinctively.
Most people, myself included, give constant thought to their surroundings when skiing; where the rocks are, the trees, snow quality, yada yada. when you're with your friends on a powder day, you may have them scope a landing for you, or give you a heads up on depth, etc.
All of that thought results in memories. Those memories can instill a fear in exposure. (Or a pleasurable flashback buzz of adrenaline)
When I started competing, (don't anymore) I discovered that once I got to the bottom, I often forgot where I had been on the line. I've even had to ask people; "Where did I come off that rock?" I believe now that I understand what my race coach was talking about. I prepped the line, memorized it, skied it rat's fast, got to the bottom and forgot the details that I never gave a thought to. Other competitors have asked me; "what was that landing like, was it deep?" "I honestly have no idea. My skis didn't come off, my back slapped the ground. I'm still shaking. Is that enough?"
Exposure can be viewed as how much you pay attention to the death threats. Do I recommend ignoring those threats? No. Is there a magical solution to fear? No. But of all the fearful lines I've skied, I don't recall fear from any lines skied in events. And that is the only point that obsurdly long note hopefully expressed.
: Nor did any of my injuries ever come from any lines skied in any events. That's the most interesting thing to me now that I am an old man who craves simple pow lines.
Ever see Point Break with with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze? I'll get this quote wrong; Swayze; "Fear will cause (something), (something) will cause hesitation, hesitation will cause your worse fears to come true."
Can someone help me out on that quote?
Come on you swayze fans.
Ever hear of Dan Osman? (Rest his soul.) Saw some footage of him climbing. He was considered the world's greatest free climber. (no rope) Saw footage (Faces of Stone 3? 1995?) where he scaled a four-hundred something foot cliff in something like four and a half minutes, no rope. He gave a brief commentary in his films too about dealing with fear. I wish I could quote him here. To this day his athletic accomplishments caught on film have impressed me more than any other human being. Which is probably why I don't remember what he said. I never got over the shock of seeing him perform. Which... pretty much shuts me up.