Park City, Utah
“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” – Rumi
Park City it is! I am excited to be going skiing in Utah. I have never been there before and I do want to see every US state, so another one off the list. The hotel and the flights are booked and paid for so there is no changing my mind now.
Now I have to reserve the skis and schedule the lessons. I think I will take a couple of days of lessons and the other 3 days will be on my own. I am going alone, so I think I will play by ear and not plan every single moment.
I have been trying to learn how to ski for a few years now. Three years ago I had an awesome experience in Snowmass, CO. I took group lessons with this female instructor who was phenomenal. I wish I would remember her name. I gained so much confidence with her. I learned different skills; I even did a jump and a half-pipe. For that moment in time I even lost my fear of speed. I was on top of the world.
Then 2 years ago I went to Whistler and the mountain kicked my behind. I started on the blues and ended up on the bunny hill. It was very icy so I think that made me nervous and eroded my confidence. Not only that, but I also think that I was too over confident and a bit too conceited.
I have been to Whistler 3 times and even with this bad experience it remains one of my favorite places in the world, and I will definitely return at some point soon.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the bad experience in Whistler I learned:
1) Overconfidence can backfire. I was in a group and the other people were slower and less experienced than I was, so I was having an attitude, not externally, but internally. In my mind I was the best and they were slowing me down. That until I panicked and froze on a blue run. I need to keep my ego in check and be more patient with others and myself.
2) I have to realize that different days and different conditions will bring about different experiences. It was pure ice and freezing in Whistler, so it would certainly be a different experience than fluffy power and warmer temperatures in Colorado. I need to better manage my expectations. The best is not to have any.
3) I don’t have to let setbacks define me and even stop me. I am going to continue. So I have to re-start, so what? No one is keeping score other than me. And even if I am a beginner forever, who cares? As long I enjoy every moment, being grateful for the opportunity every skiing day is a success. (or any day doing anything)
4) It showed me how much I really love skiing and what I am made of. Even at my worst, even when I felt terrified to leave the bunny slope I decided to continue on. I decided not to let that one bad experience define me. I am not the failure to ski blues, I am the success of keep going on the greens. I create my own definition of success.
Why do I so enjoy something that I struggle with so much? Perhaps because of the struggle. Perhaps because it is a challenge and I want to conquer it.
I like challenges. Several years ago I wanted to learn how to scuba dive but was always terrified of water. I went every night to the YMCA and slowly talked myself into letting go of the borders of the swim pool. Slowly I grew more comfortable in the water. I became certified and and went on a few adventures. I am still not comfortable in the water, but I like that I went ahead and learned enough to be certified and do something I always wanted to try.
But the real answer is that I never feel more free than at the top of a mountain. At that moment there is no work, there is no family, there is no problems or dramas; there is nothing else except getting to the bottom. Often difficult, sometimes scary and even paralyzing, but totally freeing. My definition of heaven!
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert