Gulp!

Skier carving a turn off piste
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, last night I made a committment. I made a nonrefundable payment towards a ski trip in North Carolina over the winter holiday. I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds lovely.” It does, but it also sounds scary.

You see, I’m not afraid of snakes. Or clowns. Or heights. Or public speaking. I am; however, afraid of land that slopes away from me. Perhaps it’s because I was born in the flatlands of Florida and raised on the unvarying topography of south Texas. Maybe I had some hill trauma as a young child that has since been repressed (are there any therapists that specialize in hill trauma?). Who knows? I just know that the thought of standing at the top of a snowy icy (it is man-made stuff there) hill while standing on long, thin strips makes me panic. Just a little.

Learning to Go Downhill

I have never been skiing before. I have learned to appreciate the winter sports of sledding and tobogganing, both of which are executed a safe distance from the ground (read: under an inch). Knowing me, my first attempt at skiing will probably have me in a full squat with my butt just barely clearing the land below. Go ahead and laugh – the image makes me giggle too.

I am signing up for lessons for the two days we will be there (otherwise I would probably never move from the top of the runt bunny slope). Since I know nothing about skiing, I considered reading up on techniques prior to the trip. But then I changed my mind. You see, the reason that hills scare me is that I over think them. I want to be in control every step (or slide) of the way down. But that just isn’t possible. You have to plan at the beginning, set up your path and let go. And trust. Why is it that I can do that in my life but not on a hill?

So, I am going to try to not use my brain on this trip. I am going to work on feeling the instruction rather than memorizing and analyzing it. I am going to learn to trust in myself and my ability to get down the mountain hill relatively unscathed. Maybe I should picture myself giving a speech to a bevy of evil clowns holding snakes…that might help to keep me calm:)

So, until the trip, I am going to work on making the rest of the reservations and locating all of the gear needed, but I am not going to plan how to ski. For that, I am just going to trust my gut.

Gulp!

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18 thoughts on “Gulp!

    1. I want to meet you too! Unfortunately, Asheville isn’t in the plans for this trip, but he hope to make it out there soon! I love the city (and haven’t been there in many years) and I need to check Biltmore off my bucket list:)

  1. I am delighted to hear that you are giving skiing a try! Skiing is one of the most important spiritual activities in my life. Learning to trust the slope is a powerful experience. As a new skier your body will instinctively lean toward the top of the mountain. You will lean back and away from the downward motion. This will put you off balance and make things feel awkward. However, a moment will come when you learn to trust the slope. You will lean toward your destination. You will bend toward the bottom of the mountain and accept your motion. This moment is exhilarating and profound! You will take notice of this moment, no matter how brief, and your heart will soar.

    On a less philosophical level I have one important piece of advice. Get the right boots. If you are renting boots do a little research on the rental shops beforehand. A poorly fitting boot is a miserable experience. Pay extra and get top quality boots. Don’t skimp on this part. Take your time and ask lots of questions. Also ask your ski instructor for help if you are experiencing any discomfort. Learning the proper way to buckle the boots is critical.

    So jealous. I am not skiing this year. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to hear about your experience!

    1. So, you mean I can’t lie flat on my back and call it skiing? Damn πŸ™‚ Thanks for the advice! And, of course I’ll share all about it when I get back. Hopefully complete with embarrassing pictures!

  2. I do not think there is any cure other than go there and see, talking from my experience, same anxiety… I must admit I did not go downslope skiing, nor upslope, I chose cross country skiing! Love it for two days. Manageable control. Just keep it in mind as plan B, or C…have a good time, I enjoyed reading you! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! I’m not going to let myself do cross country since it’s totally in my comfort zone (in fact, I don’t even think they offer it!). Now, uphill, I could do! πŸ™‚ Glad to now I’m not the only one that has hillophobia!

  3. you will love it! you will be sore in places you did not know you owned the next day, but skiing is so invigorating. πŸ™‚ And freeing πŸ™‚ and fun πŸ™‚ once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike. and it’s also addictive πŸ™‚ have a great time!

  4. I think this is an excellent exercise in giving up control. As you’ve acknowledged, that’s one of the things that you’ve been working on during this life journey, and I commend you wholeheartedly for taking the leap (so to speak) toward this fear! I’ll bet you’ll ultimately love it, for all the reasons stated above. πŸ™‚ Good luck!!!!

  5. Congratulations on taking that first step! I also live on very flat (warm) land and the closest I’ve ever been to skiing is to sit on a sled and slide into some trees! I would love to do what you are doing but am afraid I will break something! Can’t wait to hear about your adventure!

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