I went skiing for the second time this past weekend and I have a success story for you: I DIDN’T CRY ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN! Baby steps.
That doesn’t mean that skiing still doesn’t terrify me. I was on the mountain from about 10-3 on Saturday and I did three runs. THREE. Much to my friends’ dismay, I would slowly, very, very slowly, make my way down the long green run Keystone has from the top of one of it’s chairlifts and then take a mini break, then go back up. I did spend a bit of time waiting for them at the bottom of the run, pretending I didn’t want to go on the chairlift without them.
Who was I kidding? I just wanted to rest my weary
My friends told me they were questioning whether I was actually enjoying skiing. I could see where they would get that from. I’m pretty sure the grim face I had on going down the mountain was an indicator of that BUT I was enjoying skiing. I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to go as fast as everyone else, frustrated that I was the slowest person on the mountain, but I like skiing. It was really fucking hard work going down hills much steeper than I was used to, not just physically but mentally too. Skiing, just like running, is very much mental and those blockades are a lot bigger than anything I come up against while running.
You see, I’m scared of heights. Like, really, really scared. I like being in control of myself when faced with heights (preferably holding onto a tree or a pole, which in skiing is very much the opposite of what you want to be doing) and barreling down the side of a mountain on two thin strips of wood that are waxed up to make you go faster down said mountainside is not my idea of control. In fact, it scares me shitless.
I like doing things that scare me. I’m a masochist in that regard. I just know I will get better. When I started running and hiking a lot this summer, I would trip over my own two feet and hiking was a slow and steady process as I made sure I had a good footing every time I placed my foot down somewhere. I was unsteady and lacked confidence in my abilities. Yet by mid-summer I likened myself to a mountain goat: I would bound down the mountain without barely a care. I didn’t need to think about every step. Same with running. My muscles grew stronger and in that strength I got confident that it knew what it was doing.
So therefore, I’m just going to have to keep skiing and keep building those muscles until I’m more confident in my abilities. Or at least in my ability to stop because I’m not confident in that at all. One run in with a lodge wall at the age of fifteen will drive that fear deep inside you.
And now I will leave you with some Colorado porn. It’s really a miracle I didn’t kill myself while skiing down this hill with these kinds of views surrounding me.