I AM one of those people who just loves being in the mountains.

I find they bring a stillness to my inner world, as if they turn down the non-stop radio playing in my mind.

They provide a gateway into what I call a flow state.

Growing up in the Cairngorms I was blessed to spend the winter months on skis.

It is something I had to let go of after paralysis but with one of my closest friends Noel Baxter coaching one of Britain’s top female skiers I always feel close to the sport I loved as a child growing up in the Cairngorms. 

Perhaps that it is also why I love to cycle in the Alps during the summer months.

It lets me connect with the mountains again - and the stillness. 

Have you ever thought about what brings you stillness? 

And is this even important?

Well, in a world where we are bombarded with information and what seems like a constant stream of mental stimulus it has become increasingly difficult to find this stillness.  

Yet it is one of the most important things for our health

As the temperature drops, cycling is becoming scarcer.

Winter athletes form like ants shuttling back and forward in search of snow. 

As the FIS World Ski Cup kicked off in Soelden last week, the mountain silence  broke as the world cup rolled into town. 

With the delayed Tokyo Olympics delayed a year we are straight into another Olympic year with Beijing hosting the Winter Olympics in February.

The Olympics bring another element to ski racing, as the games bring a global audience to the sport and the opportunity for the athletes to stand on an Olympic podium. 

That is enough to disrupt the inner stillness of any athlete’s mind.

It can consume every thought if they let it.

But I’ve always savoured one special moment of stillness in sport - that instant just before the gun goes off. 

Each sport requires a different physical performance but calming that inner narrative in your mind is something all sports have in common. 

It can be a moment of stillness, calm before the fireworks go off if you get it right. 

Getting this right is something that looks easy but is far from it. 

Bringing it all together at the right time is exactly what Alex Tilley did in Soelden last week. 

I had chatted with Noel over the summer months, and he told me Alex was skiing fast and that if it comes together then she was capable of mixing it with the best in the world. 

This is an impressive vision for someone who learned her craft on the mountains in Scotland

I sat thinking of those moments before Alex pushed out the start gate to kick of her Olympic season. 

On new skis and with a belief that she can ski as fast as the world’s best, I thought what it was like in her mind just before the start. 

Was there a moment of stillness? What was her inner narrative?  

Bug whatever it was it clearly worked for the Scottish skier. 

Tilley - who started 40th - skied herself into 13th place, but what would have caught the eye of the worlds best was she had the 5th fastest second run. 

It might be hard if you don’t follow ski racing to fully appreciate the significance of this performance.

But in a sport that has an incredible number of variables which can see the world’s best separated by tenths of a second it is truly an outstanding sporting moment in British sport and puts the Scottish skier on track to mix it with the best in the world at this season’s Olympics. 

What I love about Alex is that she loves what she does.

Skiing is a passion for the athlete from Torphins in Aberdeenshire who skis for Team Evolution and Gordon skiers. 

It is amazing to think a young skier from Aberdeenshire has gone on to ski with the world’s best.

She has shown to all the youngsters in ski programmes across the UK that it IS possible to go mix it with the best skiers in the world - whether you were brought up in the mountains or not.