Spending New Years with seven seasoned skiers at a ski resort in Canada sounded like a fabulous idea. Before eventually coming to the point where I knew it was that fabulous idea, I had to deal with the fact that skiing is both hard and scary. You see, before this week I was not a skier. The mountains were foreign. Looking up at Whistler sparked an awe in me that could only come from something equally beautiful and treacherous. My natural inclination was not to allow myself to lean down into that slope. My natural inclination was to step back from the edge.
What I really had to accept in order to get back down to the bottom of the mountain is that if I was going to ski I was going to have to let myself fall because falling is exactly what skiing feels like. I had to get past this huge mental block. I had to trust that when I put all my weight on the right leg I wasn’t going to become a human bullet shooting down, I was going to smoothly curve around.
It took me a couple of days and there were a lot of actual tumbles and moments that I needed to stop and mentally prepare myself (and take in the view), but I did it. I looked down the slope, told myself it was okay, and I leaned into it. The rewards were indescribable. I started becoming more comfortable in the stiff boots and my fear started to dissipate.
2018 was filled with peaks and I definitely ended on one. If learning how to ski is an indication of how the rest of the year is going to go, it looks like I’m ready to take risks and face some fears in 2019.
(bonus info: my ski instructor friend Jason said that the lift to the top of Whistler would be too spicy to go down the second day, but guess what?? If that lift was spicy, so am I. The third day I went up, took this photo, and I skied all the way down from the peak.)