Sliding on the Edge: Lessons from the Slopes

Lost In The Algorithms — Odyssey # 39

George Kalantzis

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Waking up each morning, I sometimes shoot a silent prayer to the skies — not for peace or calm, but for a good, hard challenge. There’s this itch, a kind of craving for chaos that’s almost masochistic. It’s like I’m constantly trying to prove my worth to… well, myself, I guess.

As a single dad moonlighting as a quasi-bodybuilder and writer, life’s handed me my fair share of puzzles. And I am sure you have yours, too, or else you probably wouldn’t be reading my work.

At the crack of dawn, when the world’s still snoozing, I’m out there — on the edge, pushing past what I thought were my limits yesterday. It’s not just about doing the work; it’s about finding that untamed part of me that’s itching to break free. But then, there’s this nagging thought — what if this relentless pursuit is just my way of spinning a yarn, a cover-up for the daily grind that wears me down?

Yet, despite the doubts, exhaustion, and endless juggling between dad duties and personal ambitions, I can’t help but lean into the edge. It’s where I find clarity, where the noise fades, and all that is left is raw, unfiltered life.

In “Nowhere To Go,” I wrote about how writing drags me, kicking and screaming, to life’s edge. It’s there, in that precarious balance between vulnerability and strength, that I find solace. Words form in the shape of a mentor, teaching me that we are very much the same even though we’re all different on the outside.

This edge I’m talking about isn’t exclusive to those who flirt with physical extremes or pour their souls onto pages. It waits for you wherever fear, pain, grief, and shame keep you hidden behind masks and shadows. Those places can find you in everyday life, even in the most mundane places.

Just yesterday, on the slopes with my daughter, we faced a run that had her in tears, overwhelmed by its steepness. Yet, with a mix of encouragement and shared determination, we returned to it immediately, not just to conquer the slope but to teach a lesson in resilience and facing fears head-on.

That slope we tackled wasn’t just about skiing; it was like a mini-episode of life’s bigger drama. It hit me that the real tests aren’t always the headline grabbers because you can find your edge when you least expect it.

Some might call me crazy for the paths I choose, for the way I willingly dance with my demons under the spotlight. But here’s the thing — life’s too damn short to stay comfortable.

So, dive headfirst into those dark corners where fear and pain hide. Don’t shy away from your edge because, in the end, it’s all about how fiercely you lived, not how long.

GK

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George Kalantzis

George is a professional storyteller, a dad to a sassy and adventurous eight year-old girl, and the author Of Nowhere To Go