Lytt til erfarne fjellfolk

Martin van Doeswijk

(Listen to experienced mountaineers)

Why learning cross country skiing is no different than the running of a project, team or company. An introduction to the influence of the learning capacity through the 7 + 1 areas1.

Day 1 of my skiing holiday in Norway was marked by making ourselves at home in the cozy cabin, renting cross-country skis (they are long and thin!) and the first spielerei in a starters area.
The next day starts with the first of five real cross-country skiing classes. It initially appears to be a lesson in humility, but once I am aware2 of the right posture, the conviction comes that there is indeed room for improvement! 
We learn that the classic cross country skiing, as cross-country skiing is also called, has four methods3We learn to perform these four methods at different speeds, so the variations are endless and we will soon be able to handle any situation, whether the trail is flat, up or goes down.

After the morning classes we can practice what we just learned and I notice that the exercises of day one are not sufficient anymore. Good advice4 from the teacher pops up: 'throttle back and do the exercise in slow motion'. By carrying out the exercise quickly, it looks impressive, but I camouflage my bad posture, proper take-off and -not unimportant in langlaufen-  the twist my hips. And because I want to look good at the end of the week between all the experienced skiers,  the 'it's all about balance’ is going to be my guide for the correct course5 of this week.

Minor inconvenience as injuries, difficult trails with steep climbs and descents or bad gliding skis, sometimes throw a spanner in the works, but flexibility, growing confidence and fine wax6are gaining the upper hand.

As the week progresses I both move and improve faster! And it is not only the teacher who emphasis the principles to anticipate on rapidly changing circumstances such as weather and snow conditions. Also the mountain board that hangs above the dining table in the holiday cabin teaches us the importance to listen to experienced mountaineers7Properly packed to take longer trips, from day 3 we therefore pack food and drink for the road8 and we rest regulair.
Of course work after a week of cross-country skiing I was no match to the real cracks in when it came to technique and fitness but this real-life learning experience made me realize again how paying attention to the various learning aspects (see footnotes), not only can result in spectacular progress, but also  how much fun and satisfaction you can get from it. Regardless of whether it's on vacation or at work!

Ha det Gøy! (Lots of fun!)

[1] In this blog I refer in footnotes to the 7 + 1 areas to influence the learning ability
[2] Awareness
[3] (Learn) methodologies
[4] Communications
[5] Improve Race
[6] Structures and Systems
[7] Customer Value
[8] Supplying network

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