Happy New Year!
I am in the mountains with my family this week and I’m definitely on vacation time. Yesterday I went out to ski a little stressed that I hadn’t yet written a blog post for this week. A little stressed, but sort of having the feeling that some inspiration would come while out on the slopes.
I wasn’t wrong.
I’m not much of a skier, to be honest. I’m no daredevil. I like to start something knowing I’ll be able to finish well. I simply can’t be sure of that with skiing and it sometimes makes the whole experience feel more frustrating and tiring than fun.
I am a cautious skier because I don’t like falling down. I obviously don’t want to get hurt, but more than that, I don’t want to look incompetent or get in anyone’s way.
Unfortunately, my caution on the slopes was actually making it harder for me to enjoy the sport.
I’d learned to make wide sweeping turns back and forth across the mountain to slowly make my way down the slopes. (This defensive skiing comes from a few years skiing on a mountain that is WAY above my skill level.) But yesterday after my dad stood uphill and watched my approach a few times he coached me in how to ski on this new mountain.
His advice? Shorter turns. He said I would still be able to control my speed, but I wouldn’t be able to overthink things so much. When I over-think I freeze, and when I freeze it’s hard to regain momentum and enjoy the ride down the mountain.
It’s counterintuitive, but when I feel like I’m getting out of control, the only way to regain control is to lean downhill. My instinct is to move to the side and stop; I’m learning, at least in some situations, to fight that instinct.
As I rode a lift up the mountain my dad was talking with me a little more and he said, “you’ll probably fall down, but that’s okay.”
You’ll probably fall down, but that’s okay.
What a great line to carry with me into 2019.
Not only did it help my skiing yesterday (I did fall down), but it is also one more reminder for me to try new, hard things and to give myself grace if I happen to fail at them.
This is a hard practice for me. My husband wanted to take dance classes with me when we were dating. I said no. Why would I want to be bad at something in front of a room full of strangers? He thought we would have fun learning together. Maybe we would have.
This year I don’t really have any resolutions in the traditional sense, I don’t think I would stick to them even if I did make some. What I do have though is a desire to try some new things and to practice believing it’s okay if I fall down, so to speak, while doing them.