I used to hate it when skiers talked to each other in my presence. I used to almost seethe at their wide-eyed excited stance, hands splayed open in exclamation of either: they had just gone skiing or were planning on skiing or were you going skiing or how was the skiing or the skiing was epic and on and on and on. Powder this, sunny slopes that, amazing, awesome yada yada yada….. They would always be horrified, mouths wide open when I revealed that I didn’t ski. A part of me would bristle at their horror and enthusiastic recruiting. It sort of felt like I was the only sane person in a gathering of scientologists. As if they needed to coerce me, to drag me into their fucked up cult. To pound into me how much fun it was.
I had tried skiing two times in my early twenties. Unproductive silliness really. Going with friends who would rather laugh at my expense then nurture a possible passion in me. (Really, I can’t say I blame them, since I fell numerous times much to my friend’s delight…) So it never really lit that spark for me, and I never pursued it.
Part of who I am, you see, is a fearful person. Psycho-babble aside, I have always been a reluctant sort of girl, more worried about appearance and opinions of others and my own possible failure at any new and daunting task at hand. I was always too wrapped up in the what if’s of the pessimistic outcomes rather than embracing wholeheartedly the possibility of success. Without going into my own crazy-ass psyche, I will just say that I am not generally an adventurous person. I mean, it’s getting a little easier for me as I grow older, but these imaginary limits are always there in my mind.
So this year, my son decides he wants to ski for Winter Activities through the school. *GULP* Right. So, at first, I shanghai a friend to ski with Nick for me. I settle for not skiing at all. Because the fear and trepidation of the mere idea of me doing something out of my own realm of ability was a real knee-knocker…. But then, wait a minute, I think to myself. My son will see me not taking a chance, he will bear witness to me sitting on the side lines, not breaking out of my own comfort zone. He would quite possibly be disappointed in me. That I would rather NOT doing the very things that I continuously encourage him to embrace.
Needless to say, it was an awesome wake-up call for me.
I still was petrified putting on those skiis. I was a bundle of nerves getting on that chair-lift. I fretted about the ramp at the top, and how I was going to make it off the chair without falling on my face. Here I was, pushing 40, and attempting to try a brand new sport, rife with the possibility of injury. Can you imagine? Oh, it was a stretch for me. But then, the most amazing thing happened. I did it. And I loved it.
I think I’m a skier now.