Written by Amy Baird
Very recently, I went snow skiing with several friends in the mountains of Colorado. Since I only ski for 3 days out of the calendar year, the first day usually consists of reacquainting myself to my equipment, the mountain, the slopes. AND in large part, overcoming my fears: the fear of my physical abilities not being enough, crashing and damaging myself beyond repair, etc. It’s HUGE test for me mentally: battling back the raging thoughts of my inadequacies and how those inadequacies will cause my failure.
Don’t look at the entire mountain, just focus on the next 25 feet…
I thought, “You can go from here to there without falling”. And, I did! And then the next 25 feet! And the next, and so on! Until finally my “so called” friends took me unknowingly down a black run. AND I’m glad they did! I ended up having the best ski trip of my life because I did it! Best of all, no yard sales! (A yard sale is a skiing phrase used when you crash so badly that all of your equipment is spread all over the slope or yard.)
I wondered, “How did I get to be so scared?” I used to be accused of being a daredevil and adventurer. Besides the obvious appreciation for one’s mortality, I was really ashamed of my trepidation. I’ve seen myself grow into this person who doesn’t want to experience risk with many things besides snow skiing. I started to wonder, “How often am I trying to tackle the entire mountain at once?” How many times have I looked at situations that are so immense and failed because of my inability to break it down to conquerable portions? How often do I just need to focus on the next 25 feet?