My History With Skiing & Overcoming Fears

by Stephanie on January 17, 2012 · 0 comments

in Inspiration, Sports & Fitness

How was everyone’s weekend?  Do you think I’m a day late with that question?  Well, I had MLK Jr Day off so my weekend just ended.

I, for one, had a pretty fantastic weekend.  Sure, there were some hiccups along the way but it was by far the best few days I’ve had in the last month so I’ll take it!  Let’s bullet point the things I did just for fun, shall we?

  • Murder Mystery Dinner (which I’d never done before and was pretty fun!)
  • Saturday morning run
  • BWWs for wings &  watching the games
  • Shopping for fun and groceries
  • Went to the new Sherlock Holmes movie
  • Took down indoor Christmas decorations (a little late? nah!)
  • Dinner & hanging out at a friend’s house
  • Dinner & ice cream with a good friend
  • Lots of relaxing
And my most favorite activity
  • SKIING!

(pic: beautiful mountain view taken while skiing)

To understand how excited I was about how skiing went on Sunday, you need to understand my history with the sport.  Here’s the story:

The first time I went was in 2002 when I was a freshman in college.  I went with some friends who were way more experienced than I was, at night, and I didn’t take a lesson.  In my defense I had no idea I should take a lesson.  I knew nothing and my friends were less than helpful (b00).  I made it down the bunny hill once but I was fearing for my life the whole time.  The second time down the bunny hill I got going way too fast.  I tried to turn but I didn’t know how and I ended up falling in a bad way.  My left leg was bent at the knee and extremely painful.  A ski patrolman found me and took me down the hill to the lodge where I waited for my friends to take me home.

By the time I got home that night my left knee had swollen to about three times its normal size and my Mom had to cut my jeans off me.  The next morning we went straight to the orthopedic doctor, had an MRI, and found out I’d torn my MCL.  I don’t remember the details but I do remember that surgery was not necessary (it may not have torn 100% through).  In any case, I was on crutches for three months and in physical therapy for another 3 after that.  It was horrible!

Fast forward to 2009 and my best friend, Steve, is trying to convince me to go skiing because he loves to do it but has no one to go with him.  To say I was extremely hesitant is the century’s understatement.  However, after much prodding I agreed to go.  He made me take a private lesson which was extremely helpful.  I was still terrified but I managed to do it without killing myself.  So what then?  I agreed to a ski trip to Colorado.  Makes perfect sense, right?  No?  Oh well.

Colorado was amazing.  Despite the fact that I spent the first 20 minutes of every day standing on top of a mountain crying and hyperventilating (no kidding, I was that scared) I managed to conquer my fears and learn to ski pretty well.  Thanks to the most patient teachers ever, Steve and his uncle, I learned to turn, control my speed, and stop (so important!).  I flew down blues (intermediate ski runs) all day long and had a blast!

(pic: my excitement over conquering a “more advanced” blue run!)

I didn’t ski after that trip until early 2011 and it did not go well.  Despite having skied so well 2 years before I found myself paralyzed at the top of the hill again reliving all the fears I’d previously conquered.  I never got the hang of it that day and didn’t go any more that winter.  I felt seriously defeated.

Which brings me to Sunday, which can only be described by one word:

SUCCESS!

Yes, I was scared.  Very actually.  But I told myself repeatedly that I’d done this before and I could do it again and that it would be okay.  And it was.  I conquered the blues at the little resort nearby (way easier than the blues in Colorado) and got some confidence back.  Thank goodness!  I’m quite excited to do some more skiing, including a weekend trip to a bigger resort a couple of hours north of here in just two weeks.  Woot!

I know that was a lot of background but I wanted to share with you my accomplishment and this lesson:

Overcoming fears, especially when they are linked with injuries, can be hard for athletes.  It can prevent you from trying something new or getting back in the game.  Don’t let it.  You’ll be missing out!

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