The Next 25 Feet

Written by Amy Baird
Beaver Creek 2014
Beaver Creek 2014

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.  

Day 1 of Ski trip —I found myself taking in all of the obstacles around me and letting them overwhelm me:  the incline of the slope, the lack of visibility.  The truth is I was freaked.  Thinking things like:  Why am I torturing myself?  Why is this fun?  As I looked down this huge mountain that was extremely steep, I had a moment of clarity —

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?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that can happen in life.  More than anything, this was a reminder to check myself when I’m scared.  To make certain that I’m breaking the huge, intimidating things in life into manageable pieces.
Mel_Amy_Ski 2014
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3 thoughts on “The Next 25 Feet

  1. Excellent point! Thanks for the reminder as I can certainly use this in my life… Currently am training for a triathlon and certainly find myself feeling the same trepidation over the running portion. So thanks as I just applied.

  2. Amy – great article. An excellent reminder for me to break it down in steps. I have many places in life where my fear stops me. I will hold on to —“just the next 25 feet.” Thanks Melinda

  3. Pingback: The Next 25 Feet | Monday Morning Stretch

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