Last week I went skiing for the first time, and I feel the need to tell you that I ended up crushing it and loving skiing back and forth down the mountains. I probably feel the need to say that because the picture that I am about to paint for you is not going to be featured in my Olympic highlight tryout video.
We had just started a little before this story begins. It did not take long for me to figure out how to turn on the skis, but stopping proved to be more challenging for me. This was not an issue until I either got to the bottom of the mountain or until one of the many 4-year-olds swerved in front of me. Both of those two things seemed to happen frequently, and after ending up in a ditch a few times, I eventually felt that I had a grasp on it good enough to take it to the next step. I wanted to get some footage of everyone skiing, so I strapped the GoPro to my chest and followed behind everyone else as they darted back and forth in front of me.
This was going great, until I felt someone come up right behind me. It is unnerving enough standing on two feet on solid ground, let alone on an ice-covered mountain with two weapons strapped to my feet. He came up behind me, did some move, scared the crap out of me, and then I lost sight of him.
I lost sight of him because in that moment I crashed, and I crashed hard. “The soft fluffy snow will pad your fall!” FALSE. My bruised right arm and cracked rib would say otherwise. As I fell the GoPro jammed into my stomach and one of my skis flew off. So now I’m laying in the middle of a mountain, trying not to throw up, with a ski that I cannot for the life of me get back on. Five minutes later and the story is the exact same and my frustration was growing. I keep looking down the mountain at my sweet and helpless husband. I cannot get it on, he cannot help me, and tons of people are zooming past me as I stand there helpless. I would like to say that I manned-up, got it on, and skied gracefully down the rest of the mountain, but no. I started crying, took off the other ski, and took the walk of shame down to Matt. We finally got that dang ski on, but at this point I was far from happy.
When I get frustrated or upset I do two things. I retreat to some inner place and am no longer fully present, and I get sad, and when I get sad, I usually sit in that for a while. All I wanted to do was go back into the lodge, drink some hot chocolate, and be sad for a bit, but somehow I found myself skiing slowly toward the ski lift, half determined to try agian and half over it. As I got to the bottom, there was this ecstatic little boy waiting by his mom for his turn to go back up to the top. His excitement annoyed me as I turned quickly into the Grinch of skiing. Matt began to talk to him and ask about his day and his adventures so far to add to his excitement and pride. When Matt asked him how he was doing he replied,
“Great! I had 2 no-falls!”
There this sweet little boy was, standing there covered in snow from his recent falls, thrilled about his little accomplishments. He was more focused on his success than on his recent tumbles.
As much as I would like to say that it is, that is not my reaction to life. When I get frustrated, I quickly give up. I begin to believe the lies that I am not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or brave enough. I get embarrassed about my failures as opposed to celebrating my successes. I get stuck on what I did or the words that came out of my mouth instead of making moves towards my dreams. If I could celebrate the little victories, I would spend less time giving up and lying in the fetal position in my living room, and more time having dance parties on that same floor.
I borrowed some of that sweet boys enthusiasm and heart and ended up using his measure of success the rest of the trip. My attitude, bravery, and happiness changed quickly after that. I am happy to report that on day 2 I had all no-falls! (except when I found myself going through the jump park and accidentally found myself at the peak of the highest jump. I looked down that cliff, thought, ‘betta not’, sat down and sledded down the jump as opposed to dying.)