The Process

About half way through a very low intensity surf ski workout this morning I noticed my pace quicken and my thoughts begin to race.

I started the work out grounded, relaxed, loosely but keenly focused on technique and mostly just enjoying the salty solitude on Lake Mission. I was feeling grateful that after months of rehab I was seemingly able to resume some paddle workouts, all be it, at a low level and with caution.

I went from being mindful of each stroke, the pressing of the heels, the rotation of my upper spine, the sound of the blade hitting the water to thinking and wondering if my back was going to hold up sufficiently for the more demanding sessions that I would hopefully embrace this spring in the surf . And if it did hold up, if it would then hold up for the racing and multi disciplined events that I love so much in the summer.

As I watched my mind get 2, 3 and 4 months ahead of my rehab, considering a host of things that as of that moment were out of my control I said out loud, “stop” and took my paddle out of the water and came to an intellectual and physical pause and just floated…

As I took calming breaths, I talked my self down from the useless, perilous cliff of what if can’t and what will I do…and brought myself back to the gorgeous environment I was surround by and the present state of well being, which was pretty darn good.

I sat in my boat and looked around at the beauty that was all around me, I sat up tall noticing very little tension in my back and my hip and thought Spikey, you can’t control what might happen, all you can control is executing to the best of your ability a logical approach to resuming padding.

When we focus on future outcomes rather than the present moment we are trading the real life joy of now for a speculative moment of some other day that may or may not come.

When we experience set backs, pain or loss it can be sad, scary and radically unsettling. But there really is only one healthy way to proceed forward and that is with an organized, gradually progressive plan and a beginners mind with a deep appreciation for that which we can control and embrace right now to advance in the direction of our dream.

I hope my back continues to heal and I hope that I get to play the way I’d like this summer but for now I’ve been reminded that the years of activity I’ve had have been a gigantic gift and I will continue to be grounded in the present, doing my rehab, embracing those actives that work and enjoying the process of restoration regardless of how far that get me.

Wishing each of you patience, persistence and support in what ever cliffs you need to talk yourself down from as you pursue your dreams.

Train smart, have fun and never give up,

Coach Cris




The session started out at an appropriate low intensity, allowing my healing body to reacquaint itself to the unique physical demands of ski padding.


2 thoughts on “The Process

  1. Larry Goodman

    Cris, I’m right there with you. Dealing with the same thoughts, but with the bike. Thinking about the Tour Divide and not knowing if things with hold up. I need to take your advise and be happy in the moment and not stress about later out comes. Aloha brother

    1. Cris Dobrosielski Post author

      One session at a time Larry, that’s what we will do. With a vision of what we want and where we’d like to go and…fully grounded in what we have in this moment. You are not alone amigo.

      Stay well Champion,

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