I recently watched some interviews with snowboarder Travis Rice talking about riding out of an avalanche while he was filming a snowboarding video in Alaska. He said he could feel the hard pack that the avalanche was riding on about two feet down, and knew from surfing that you need to duck underneath the surface of the wave so it won’t plow right through you. He ducked under the flow of the avalanche, connected the edge of his board with the underlying hard pack, and negotiated the force and momentum of the avalanche to propel him across the slope and out of danger.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of being sick. The trick seems to be understanding the reality of your life to the extent that you can harness the amazing power and momentum of the illness. Being sick really isn’t that much different than being healthy. The sun still rises and sets, and life’s challenges continue until their purpose is realized. The Yetzer haRa doesn’t even miss a beat, which speaks volumes. The only real difference is this force, this contrary distraction, that we call illness. It is easy to fall into thinking that it changes your life in some fundamental way, but it doesn’t. You just have to ride it differently.

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