Late last week, Mike and I went up to Stowe, VT for a ski trip with his family. I mentioned in a recent post that I was feeling a little iffy about skiing after our Jackson Hole trip. I have my anxiety largely under control now, but this skiing thing was really becoming a bigger issue (at least in my head). One of the biggest catalysts in my life has been to work on overcoming my fears. I have plenty still, but I had a lot before. This week was definitely a reminder of how far I’ve come. Whereas in the past, I would have just decided I was done with skiing to avoid having to face the fear at all, I conquered it this time around.
Naturally, it turned out that I just had to get the first run in and I was immediately reminded how much I enjoy skiing. And I couldn’t help but think that if I had let the fear take over, I would be missing out completely.
I mean, look at that view. I swear the views and just being in a gorgeous environment is half the fun for me.
On the first day of skiing, everyone got to the mountain at different times and in different groups, but we all tried to meet up for lunch at one of the lodges…. that you really can only get to by skiing. I misread the text and took a run down that ended on the wrong side of the mountain and when I realized my mistake, the only way to get there in time would be to take this one gondola up and ski down a steeper blue. I had just barely gotten my “ski legs” back. And this was also a gondola/trail where I had had a tough day a few years ago. I had made up my mind after that day that I would just never be able to ski down that side of the mountain… and whatever! There were plenty of other lifts and trails that I could happily do for all the ski trips. No problem.
Now though? I’m looking at this map and realizing that I either have to go for it…. or miss out on hanging out with everyone. So I got on the gondola. I stood at the top of the mountain for a few minutes half psyching myself out and half pumping myself up. After the first little bit (which was even harder than I remembered), I considered taking my skis off and hiking back up to the gondola. (Where there was a waffle stand calling my name.) The only reason why I kept going was because I was too embarrassed to be ~that person~ quitting.
Not only did I make it down in one piece, but it was also the best skiing I think I’ve ever done. The best realization, besides just not quitting, was realizing how much I’ve improved. I had felt so defeated after Jackson Hole that I couldn’t see past those failures to recognize how much better I was.
One of my favorite things about skiing is how, even if you’re surrounded by people and friends, you can really have peace of mind and time to think. Between the chair lift and just methodically going down a mountain, I spent the rest of the ski trip rewriting the negative skiing memories and realizing my newfound confidence!!