The sun’s starting to dip behind the mountains.
I can't stop shivering.
That's a good thing, when you stop shivering that’s when you need to worry about hypothermia.
I can’t recall the year, it was 2000 something.
I’m in Lake Placid in the middle of winter standing on top of a rickety 20’ high tower with 60 pounds of camera equipment and no immediate route down.
I’ve been shooting Inverted Aerials at the US Freestyle Nationals from the best seat in the house. Eye to eye with some of the most amazing athletes on the planet. Capturing them as they flip, turn and twist their way through the sky.
But now the competition is over, night is falling, and the cold is working it’s way to my core.
These skiers have put in thousands of hours to get here.
Years later Alex Fererreira took silver at the Olympics doing similar tricks off the lip of a halfpipe. In our podcast “Spartan Up,” he explained the preparation: “[First do it] in your head 100 times, do it on the trampoline 100 times, go to water and do it 100 times there. THEN you bring it to an airbag. … You do that into the bag probably 100 times. … And then after you've done it there, then you bring it to snow. “
Back in Lake Placid I'm waiting for the rest of the camera crew to get their gear wrapped so they can bring me the ladder I’ll need to climb down.
At 5’ tall my body mass to surface area ratio makes me especially vulnerable to hypothermia.
When these skiers launch into the air they’ve put in so many reps their body knows the way, the movements become intuitive and natural. Real experience, in a variety of circumstances, is critical.
How many reps have you put into your podcast?
Are you ready for the days when the winds shift or the judges don’t rule the way they should?
It’s something I think about a lot. In a world of constantly shifting tools and technology, what value does 30 years of experience give me? Reps. I’ve put in the reps. I’ve exceeded my 10,000 hours. 100s of reps editing, 100s of reps telling stories, 100s of reps handling difficult clients, tricky scenarios, unreasonable deadlines, and hard problems.
And 1000s of reps finding the best way to get the story told.
Weathering the shifts is easier when the reps have built that firm foundation.
Eventually the ladder appears, and we manage to get me and all my equipment down safely. I get the car started and focus shifts to next steps. Hot liquids. Hot shower. Set the alarm for tomorrow. Sleep.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams