Monday, January 23, 2012

More Life Lessons From the Slopes

After having a mental breakdown while skiing a couple of weeks ago, I have been reluctant to try any new runs or really push myself past my comfort zone. But, this weekend, emboldened by the 14 inches of fresh snow we’ve gotten over the past week, I forced myself decided to try a run with uneven terrain and unmarked obstacles (rocks and trees…eek!).

Andrew was with me again, thankfully, and when I started to panic, he coached me through staying calm and focusing on each turn and section rather than feeling overwhelmed by the sum of them all.

One of the things I was nervous about on this run was that I’ve tried it before, and in my opinion, I did a terrible job. I had a hard time focusing on this particular day and not remembering what I did last time. I was rehashing the past beyond the point that it was helpful anymore. I also found it challenging to not think about mistakes or previous turns that I had just made seconds before. Writing this, it seems obvious what I needed to do, but in the moment, I was bogged down by these thoughts and doubted myself so much that it seriously impeded my ability to complete something I know I can do.

I’m so happy to report that with Andrew’s coaching I was able to pull it together and finish the run, and then I went back and did it again.

One run at a time - that's how I'm going to realize my dream of some day being a good enough skier that I can go skiing in the Alps, and ski the upper mountains. I've only skied in the Alps once, and it was before I knew how to ski so I spent the whole weekend on the bunny slopes. We did take the gondola to the top to see the view, and it was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. I was so jealous that everyone else got to ski off into that gorgeous setting while I had to get back on the gondola and ride down. Honestly, it's so hard for me to imagine reaching that goal and how I will ever do it, but I'm just going to chip away at it a little at a time by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and continuing to try runs that scare me.

A long ways to go, but I’ve also come a long way with skiing – four years ago, even the thought of getting on and off the chairlift was enough to keep me up at night. It has been rewarding to pursue a hobby that is scary and exhilarating and that has such measurable results for progress. I don’t mean for it to sound trite, but I think it has really been a good learning experience in pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and dealing with different situations. It’s also been a good learning experience in realizing that my husband is a pretty good therapist.

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