Monday, January 9, 2012

Lessons in Partnership: Facing the Fear

I know how you feel, girl!

I found myself in a situation this weekend where options were limited, fear was overwhelming and panic set in. I accidentally ended up on a ski run that was too hard for me, at least mentally, to complete. I was terrified of continuing down, unable to turn around, and had no way out. Instead of keeping cool, calm and collected (as I wish I could tell you I did), I FREAKED out. Even though I knew that the worst that could happen to me was that I would fall, I couldn’t even bear the thought of trying to ski down this run that was so intimidating. In hindsight, it doesn’t seem so bad, and I think I probably could have done it, and I know I overreacted, but in that moment, I was totally paralyzed by fear and I panicked. Ugh, just thinking about how I felt on that run makes me want to cry.

Luckily Andrew was on the run with me, and he realized what was happening. I was so mad at him at the time for encouraging me and trying to talk me through a strategy to get down from there and not just indulging me in my fear. I remember wanting to shout at him (actually I’m pretty sure I did really shout at him) that, “NO, I can NOT do this and I do NOT want to be here.” I was ready to just give up, which really wasn’t an option because I still needed to get down.

But, instead of letting me give up, he talked me through each turn, which took a really long time because I was so hesitant to even move. He encouraged me, and when I made a mistake, he’d point out the positive side that I was still able to maintain control and use defensive techniques to keep from falling. He stayed calm, positive, helpful and patient. I was really thankful for the strength and courage I was able to muster from him.

It was a good lesson in partnership and balance and trust and helping (and accepting help) through a scary situation. We usually joke that we’re opposites, and thank goodness that we are or we might still be up there freaking out together.

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