Life in ‘The Zone’ |

Life in ‘The Zone’

Chris Anthony

Why did I name this column “The Zone”? It is in the zone where living creatures function at their greatest capacity. The zone is where we all wish we could exist or stay for an extended period of time.Reaching the zone means letting go both physically and mentally of the boundaries that hold us down. Letting innate reaction combine with trained responses to function on their own.In this day and age of liability and laws restraining us from hurting ourselves, we have actually limited our ability to grow. The elasticity to experiment outside the area of safety has bogged us down. Entering the zone takes guts and strength. Break the bonds that hold down creativity and physical capabilities and you are half-way there.Athletics provides an arena to exercise the boundaries and push our personal limitations. This doesn’t mean that everyone who presses the edge will be a world-class athlete. It means that partaking in sports provides a stage to excel beyond the speed limit, weight limit, height limit or distance limit. Like art, athletics can be a freedom of expression. And with freedom comes breakthroughs, inventions, records or just finding the zone. Which is a reward in and of itself.Has anything in the history of time worth talking about ever happened while being really careful?Great things happen on the edge. Magnificent feats take place when there is nothing to lose.Now more than ever we need to press the edge of our personal abilities, beliefs and passions. It is time to take responsibility for ourselves while pushing the limits. It’s time to open up the mind and notice how our neighbors are affected by those actions and try to aim for the positive.The arts and athletics provide healthy vehicles for self-growth, evolution and practice for discovering the zone. Never look at something as impossible just more difficult to overcome. Eventually your zone will be found, a smile will grace your face and rewards will shower down.Chris Anthony, a long-time Vail-area resident, is the 1996 Alaskan Extreme Skiing Champion and a veteran of 14 Warren Miller films. Contact him at

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