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I do get the point, but I would like to know why the "by" is used here? Wouldn't "and" work?

"Is it like trying to ski by thinking about each action as you do it."

To me it implies that you might be at home and trying to sky BY thinking, which is a nonsense. Also the "as you do it" - does it imply "at the same time"?

Could I rewrite it like this?

It is like trying to ski and thinking about each action while you do it.

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"And" would imply that the two activities (skiing and thinking) were going on simultaneously, but implies no cause-effect relationship. "By" means you are consciously planning each motion of skiing before you do it.

(For all but the most basic motions in skiing very slowly, consciously thinking out each motion before doing it is all but impossible -- there must be some "muscle training" so that actions are automatic.)

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