I definitely considered backing out of skiing in Park City. Why would anyone want to voluntarily send themselves down a mountain with their feet attached to slick objects? Especially when there are trees in sight. Cue the childhood sledding accident of 1999: I grew up across the street from a forest preserve with a sledding hill called “Devil’s Hill.” Apparently I had not learned the art of rolling out of the sled when steering away from the path. Instead I took the less productive approach. I closed my eyes and the next thing I felt was the thud of my head against a tree. (Yikes right?) I’ll spare you the details, but thankfully my dentist is a rockstar, literally putting my mouth back together. I somehow escaped braces, but am the lucky owner of two half fake teeth. (I dare you to see if you can tell the difference.) When my Dad dropped me off at the airport the last thing he told me was to watch out for the trees.
Hence, my fear of snow activities. I went along because my friends were and they were very excited. (Go figure, in this case peer pressure / following the crowd was a positive choice.) We took lessons called “Never Ever” where we learned to stop (very important), fall (an equally important life lesson) and how to maneuver / balance while on skis.
I loved it. Not only can I cross this item off my bucket list, but I can relish the notion that I stomped out my fear to accomplish something that truly petrified me (mid lesson, my friend Kate asked how I was doing and I couldn’t answer her because of the tears welling up behind my shades). As I continued with the lesson and onto our first trip up the lift, my friend Tessa’s words echoed in my head. She explained how her confidence has grown since moving to Park City, as a result of skiing. I needed to start trusting the information I was learning and most importantly, I needed to trust myself. Talk about a 180. I started letting go knowing I could control my direction and stopping. I tapped into my dance training – when muscles hurt you’re typically doing something right. I used that knowledge to work on stopping. And near the end as I felt braver and I started going faster I took a few spills. Another friend, and avid skier, told me “you’re not trying if you don’t fall.” Ain’t that the truth?
I ask: how can you overcome the fear of a new challenge? What have you backed out of that you’d like to try again?