Skiing Into (and Through) Fear
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you suddenly realized you were in way over your head? Maybe you weren’t sure you were ever going to get through it and had no idea what to do. This week’s video post is about an experience I had like that – on the ski slopes. It’s something I remember whenever I find myself in a jam, or consumed by fear or worry. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s what I said in the video:
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go snow skiing, which I love to do and hadn’t done in years. I couldn’t wait to hit the slopes, and I knew I needed to start slowly because it had been a really long time. So I started off with easy runs and it wasn’t long before I said, “The heck with this, I’m going straight for the black run.”
I picked a run and got to the top of the hill. After pushing myself off and getting about a third of the way down I realized, “Oh my God, this is SO over my head!” There were moguls everywhere. I’m talking about three foot in diameter and about three foot high little hills — all next to each other.
To make things worse the slope of the hill was almost vertical. It was awful. I got about a third of the way down the hill and realized this was a mistake. I looked up and knew I couldn’t climb back to the top. And just at that moment this fog rolled in — fog so thick I felt like I could grab it and hold it in my hand. I couldn’t see more than three feet in front of me.
I panicked. All I wanted to do was get down the mountain. So I thought, “OK. I’m just going to go for it.” I pushed off and plop, came smacking down to the ground, skis flying in different directions. And then it took me 20 minutes to find them because I couldn’t see anything. I finally got my skis back on and tried it again and thwhap — same thing.
I thought, “I just have to figure this out from where I’m at.” I realized just about all I could see was the mogul in front of me and if I could just ski around the edge of the mogul and bend my legs in such a way that they absorbed the shock, I was able to get around that mogul and stop. Then I could look at the next mogul, ski around the edge of that and stop. I was making some progress. And then I looked down toward the end of the mountain and guess what? Totally wiped out again.
I realized, “If I’m ever going to make it down this mountain I’m going to have to forget about reaching the bottom and take one mogul at a time and trust that I’m going to know exactly what I need to know how to make it — one mogul at a time.”
What I learned from that is to get out of fear you can’t go back into the past, and you can’t get preoccupied with what needs to happen in the future. You have to stay right in the moment and take it one moment at a time. And when you do, you will have everything you need to get through it.
You have everything you need in this moment.
You’ll have everything you need in the next moment too.
BE where you are.
Mountain photo by Sarah Nicholl from Dreamstime.com.