Skis and the hazards of tool worship

I used to dream about a new pair of cross-country skis for a season, evaluate different options, wait for a bargain, then purchase an expensive pair, and finally spend hours prepping the bases. Having invested so much time, money and effort in the skis, it seemed natural to do everything in my power to preserve them. I waxed and scraped them repeatedly, stored them carefully between uses, and skied carefully to avoid rocks or other hazards. In fact, I respected the value of the skis so much, I only used them in perfect conditions.

What a waste. My skis had become more important than my skiing, and I was sacrificing good skiing so I could look at my skis and fantasize about good skiing.

The New England Patriots clearly understand the value Tom Brady represents, but they don’t keep him on the bench and use him only in perfect weather against an opponent who cannot touch him. He wouldn’t stand for it. Using his skills is the way to show that you respect them. Similarly with tools. QThe purpose of respect is to allow them to be used, not prevent them from being used. 

I still dream about a new pair of cross-country skis for a season, evaluate different options, wait for a bargain, then purchase an expensive pair, and finally spend hours prepping the bases. Having invested so much time, money and effort in the skis, it still seems natural to do everything in my power to preserve them. I wax and scrape them repeatedly, store them carefully between uses, and ski carefully to avoid rocks or other hazards. But now, I use them every chance I get. The purpose of a tool is to be used, and sometimes that means used up. So now, after getting a great new pair of skis, I set myself industriously about the task of using them up, making myself a new pair of rock skis. Instead of protecting my skis and dreaming about skiing, I focus on skiing and dream about my next pair of skis.

Mr. Natural said: “Get the right tool for the job.”  I would add: “And use it.”

 



 

Links to more on this topic::