Long Distance Ski Jumping and Coding

Ever wonder what ski jumpers are thinking right before their feet leave the ramp? Or, what high divers are thinking right before their feet leave the platform? 

It's probably not "wtf am I doing..." or anything particularly un-confident. It's also probably not an overwhelming amount of detailed information; after all, these things only last a matter of seconds. Watch an interview or two, and it feels like athletes find these moments to be nothing more than routine for what would otherwise be death defying to most of us.

The challenge of these events is enormous but so is the skill that's meeting these challenges. For this reason, there's no fear (and, because of the caliber of competition, there's no apathy either). Rather, there's a flow state these athletes talk about when they're reminiscing on what these moments are like: 'my mind is quiet,' 'my vision narrows,' 'time stops,' etc.

The truth is, we actually all find ourselves in these flow states from time to time. Coding a website may not have the same oomph as flying 800 feet down an icy mountain, but maybe in those snapshot moments, when you're lost in the thick of your work, the mindset really isn't so different: 'my mind is quiet,' 'my vision narrows,' 'time stops.' etc.

These stretches of time are addicting and what a lot of us gun for when we talk about enjoying our work or loving what we do. Funny how long distance ski jumping and coding can get you to very similar places.

Brandon Cohn