Back in high school, I went skiing with our church’s youth group. It was miserable and I swore off skiing forever.
That was before I had a husband to please. Six years ago, I succumbed to said husband’s requests to ski again. It was still pretty miserable (especially on my left, black-and-blue hip) and again, I swore off skiing forever.
That was before I had children to please. In January, my extended family shared a weekend in the mountains. Only my parents and I remained in the cabin while the others skied. When Tessa and Reed returned from the slopes, they plaintively asked me if I would pleeeeeeaaase try skiing so that we could do it as a family. (Coached — ya think??).
I was momentarily touched and said yes, I would try again sometime. Hoping that they would forget.
Well, they didn’t, and this past weekend we four hit the slopes. Even I!
One thing that made me hopeful is that since my last foray onto the slopes, I’ve taken up yoga. In theory, my balance should be better and my core should be stronger.
But you know what made the biggest difference between the last two times I tried and now?
This time, I cared not a whit what anybody else on the slopes thought of me — in fact I didn’t even notice other skiers and snowboarders. Previously, I was paralyzed by the thought of what I might look like to all the hot-doggers on the slope — I foolishly let the imagined thoughts of others derail my efforts. This time, I was fully in myself, focusing only on the task at hand.
Another motivator? This is my era of facing fears.
I took a group lesson with “Dutch,” a 60 year-old former stud with a current swagger, who looked and sounded like Ah-nald. After learning the basics of moving around in skis, we headed uphill on the magic carpet and later graduated to a small ski lift. Getting off it was the scariest part of the lesson; I bobbled a couple of times.
And got back up.
The kids were taking a more advanced lesson nearby, and would cheer me on whenever we were within shouting distance.
Other than getting off the ski lift, I stayed upright almost the entire lesson. After my 5th or 6th run, Dutch commented on my style. “Lah-ree! You have SOOO much cahn-trol. In fact, you haff 110% cahn-trol. Could you give up a little bit of cahn-trol?” Belly laugh.
Clearly, he didn’t know me.
The half-day lesson ended at lunchtime and Roger, fresh off the double diamonds, skied down the bunny slope with me. “Did you have fun?” he asked, hopefully.
I couldn’t say that I had fun. I could say that I accomplished my goals by showing up and booting up, by finishing the lesson, and by showing my kids that it’s all about trying, even if you’re grown up.
And this time, I’m not swearing off anything.
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