Last week, I went on a ski trip with my girlfriend’s family. We had 17 people in one house, 7 were children under the age of 6. The trip included a lot of chaos but it was a blast and I am very happy they invited me to come. Caroline is a great skier and I am glad she was patient with me. It was my first time skiing in 15 years and I had plenty of ups and downs on the slopes.
Skiing made me think about how I handle getting knocked down. On the second day of skiing, we went on a blue run called, Big Horn. I fell and couldn’t get my skis back on. I felt the anxiety and panic rising in my body. So, I started working on slowing down my breathing and mind. I was never able to get my skis back on and had to slide down that part of the run. I was scared, nervous, and struggled to complete that rest of the run. It took me a while to get myself together after that. However, down-regulation breath work helped me re-center myself and calm my mind on the ski lift back up. I could’ve quit after that run, but I made the decision not to.
“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” Pema Chodron
We skied the rest of the day and I felt better and better on each run. Caroline’s mom gave me a good tip - keep my focus side to side instead of looking down at the enormity of the run. As the day was coming to a close, Caroline said we had to go back to the Big Horn run so I could conquer it. I didn’t want to at that time, but knew I had to. I was able to complete the entire run without falling and it felt great to close the day on a high note.
We continued to ski the rest of the week and, while I still fell and got nervous on runs, I improved. Before we left, I skied moguls on a black. Needless to say, I had some failures on the slopes, but got back up and continued without any real fear. These experiences reminded me that most of the things we are good at in life are because we are persistent and keep getting back up. No one is born “good” at something. It takes a lot of repetitions and with each rep, confidence improves. It is constantly reminding ourselves when we fall that this gives us a chance to get better. I liked skiing and can’t wait to go again. Next time, I’ll start off shaky, but by the end of the trip, I’ll be better than when I started.
It’s time to wrap up the storytelling this week and jump into the links.