“Do you want to quit?”
This Christmas vacation Ski Trip and New Years puts another first in the books.
This recent family ski trip was a must for me.
Mark had started the tradition of snow skiing for our family 5 years ago and due to his health in 2018, we were not able to take a family trip skiing together.
This saddened the kids and it was from that point I decided that I will do whatever it takes to keep that tradition alive!
You see, these week long ski trips are probably what bonded our family the most together.
When you ski, you get to see other faces of someone that you did not know existed.
When you ski, you are tested, challenged and faced with fear so gripping that when conquered, you fall to the ground in an almost disbelief and then once you catch your breath, you stand up and fist pump the air and give a scream with so much joyful strength in it, it makes the Heavens join you in celebration.
On this ski trip I was faced with fear twice, in two completely different ways.
#1 - The first time was when Isaac (my 15 year old) sent me down a blue run vs. a black run (Black is the hardest run).
It was the first day and a new mountain with inches and inches of fresh powder.
It seemed like this was the obvious decision.
As I got to the top of the run by myself, I looked down and clearly knew this was not something I should be doing but there was no turning back, I was at the run and even if I wanted to find an easier run, I had to go down this first.
There was NO ONE around.
There were NO TRACKS to follow.
It was just ME and the POWDER and whatever laid beneath it... trees, rocks, etc.
#2 - The second time I was with all 4 kids. This was an accident.
We had just left a restaurant at the top of a lift and I had just told them all that I needed an easy groomed run down the mountain due to my legs being worn out for the day.
I thought we were all on the same page so as the kids scurried ahead of me, I just followed them, not paying attention to where or what run we were heading to.
We ended at the top of a ridge and it was a very steep mogul run that seemed to never end looking from the top down.
I am not going to lie, I went into panic mode.
My heart raced, I yelled and screamed and maybe threw out a few swear words.
Isaac got the hint that I was not impressed.
Our #2 and #3 went swiftly ahead of me. All of my kids are better than me. The benefits of learning young.
My #1 and #4 stayed with me to see me through
In both instances, I had a choice to try and hike backwards and find an easier route. This would have taken time and much effort.
I could charge forward past my fear and see what I am capable of.
In reality, I knew I could do it.
It wasn't something that was unwise for me to attempt, it was just something that gripped me with fear and I had to choose at that moment to move through the fear no matter how long the process took.
No matter how much this new territory was about to challenge me.
In the first situation I was alone.
In the second situation, Isaac was there with me guiding me and showing me the path to take.
It was much more humbling having my kids see me freak out with panic.
At one point, Isaac asked if I wanted to call the mountain snowmobile to come and get me.
That question woke me up.
“Did I want to quit?” in essence is what he was asking me.
Lol, No, I did not want to be rescued and quit.
It may have looked and sounded like that, but that is NOT what I wanted.
"You have to be ok with others seeing you struggle because that could mean the difference between you continuing on or quitting or never starting to begin with."
I skied on.
I WON my own battle, I faced my fear and made it down the mountain injury free and with a new sense of confidence.
Grace told me that her instructor said it is one thing to just get down the mountain and another to Ski it
That is true.
But, it's in the getting down in the first place that allowed me to SKI the rest of my time there.
And SKI with a new sense of accomplishment and confidence.
When you begin to ski, you use the "pizza" to slow down and once you get better you learn to use the edges of your skis and the "parallel hockey stop" to control your speed and stopping.
Conquering my fear by going down that steep "black diamond" mogul run gave me more courage than I realized.
As I enter 2019 with 3 businesses, a foundation, a blog, and potential book on my plate, along with healing and aftermath situations from Mark's passing, I am not going to lie, I have had thoughts of quitting and taking the easy road.
But...In reality, that is not even an option in my mind.
I can see the future (though maybe a bit blurry) and I can feel the emotion of catching my breath and then standing straight up and fist pumping the air as I conquer one mogul after another and as each new stride becomes easier and more fun!
And then I can say, "What's next?".
"We are in this game of life together, Let's Win."