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Perfect Moment Monday: Swearing on

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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Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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16 Responses

  1. Wait…you’ve lived in Colorado how long? Don’t they kick you out of the state if you don’t ski? You’ve got some courage! I tried skiing twice when I was 18 and still had some flexibility. It was…kind of fun, but I sucked very badly, and I didn’t ever feel motivated to try again. But I’d like my daughter to learn.

    Congratulations on showing your children that you can learn at any age!

  2. Go you! I swore off skiing after I ran into a little girl who needed carted down the hill via ski patrol. That’s what I got for letting my (far more skilled) friends convince me the beginner slope was old news.

    But I eventually tried again. And loved it. Its that first step that’s the hardest. Glad you took it. And I bet your kids are darned proud.

  3. how completely awesome. I hate skiing, but for you to have all the CONTROL, that’s just amazing. I know you’re amazing, and now other people are learning it too.


  4. I was with you that first day of skiing (not so long ago). Can you believe how long ago that truly was??? (YIKES…don’t think about it!)

    The line I loved in your post was, “I cared not a whit what anybody else on the slopes thought of me.”

    Isn’t that the KEY to life? And it’s reinforced all of the time during my yoga practice. It’s just me and my mat. Me and my skis. Me and my (fill in the blank).

    I’m SO proud of you for trying it again. Yeah for you!!!

    And…I’ll ski with you on the scary bunny hill — as long as you wait for me. 🙂

  5. Yet another thing we have in common, not caring much for skiing (and husbands who enjoy it)! My children have yet to try it and I certainly haven’t suggested we go as a family. 😉

    I have been only a few times here in the midwest and never made it past the bunny hills. I was told the conditions were less than ideal and if I really want to have a positive experience I should try it out by you someday. 🙂 Maybe I will? We’ll see!

    Anyway, I enjoyed your thought process of why you were more open and willing to trying (and somewhat enjoying) it this time. I am proud of you Lori! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  6. I had horrible experiences skiing as a child, and then in graduate school attended a seminar in Keystone, CO and tried A-basin. I was much less frightened of falling and had a breakthrough. Then the next winter a conference took me to Banff, where I tried snowboarding (as a 26 year old). LOVED IT. Never looked back.

    Hope you get bitten by the bug!

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