has learned to snowboard knows the importance of finding your centre of
gravity. But for Michael Symonds, the experience was also about exploring his
studied with renowned spiritual leader, Deepak Chopra and
personal growth facilitator and certified primordial sound meditation
living in Vancouver’s west end for over 20 years, Symonds decided to retreat
from the “up-town experience” of the city to the quiet beauty of the mountains.
though Whistler itself is a busy town, the truth is, you can escape up on the
mountain or into the parks or the forests and get away,” says Symonds.
And now he
has taken his experiences and put them in a new book, ZEN Shredding. The
about-to-be published work is about the pursuit of dreams, and chronicles
Symonds own foray into the world of snowboarding, using vignettes from his
personal experiences to outline the process and explain the risks, fears and
insights he gained during the process.
on the angle you look at it from,” explains Symonds of the book’s content.
“It’s a book of insights, but it’s also kind of a journal of my whole
exploration of learning how to snowboard in the past three years.”
of the vignettes are personal and specific, the insights and ideas drawn from
the process can be applied universally.
that someone reading, even though they might not be a snowboarder or might not
be a skier, or even play on the mountains in the snow, they’ll be completely
able to relate to the questions and the insights,” says Symonds.
ride wasn’t exactly an easy process for Symonds. During his first season in
Whistler, he was too busy working 50 to 60 hours a week in the resort to learn.
intrigued by it, and also, by being in Whistler, you’re also kind of seeing it
24/7,” says Symonds. “I spent a lot of time just hanging around the bottom of
the hill and watching all these people having fun.”
He took one
lesson the next season, but it was icy and intense, and he gave up. It wasn’t
until the following season that he decided to give it another shot, this time,
signing up for four back-to-back lessons, immersing himself in the process.