I was determined to fail. I convinced myself I was too old, not athletic enough, and just too scared to ski. For me, there was also the pressure of the ski lift. I am petrified of heights and although the ski lift was only twenty feet off the ground, it might as well have been as high as Mount Everest. So a week before, I told my husband I would “try” to ski, but in my mind, I had already made up worst case scenarios in my head and didn’t really have the motivation to give skiing my best effort.
The entire time I was putting on my ski boots (by the way, that also took assistance from an employee at the desk), I was hoping that skiing was a natural secret untapped skill that I never knew I had. Today was going to be the day when my inner ski goddess would overcome all of my preconceived fears and notions. The moment I put on the ski boots and tried to walk, there was no inner goddess. It felt like my limbs were dipped in cement and although I made attempts to walk with some modicum of grace, I ended up falling. I fell before the skis came on. I managed to put my skis on with the help of my husband and in the practice area for kids, the first time I tried to ski down a patch of snow (not a slope, people), I fell and I couldn’t get up.
I was sitting in the middle of the ski path of hundreds of eager kids and as much as I tried I just couldn’t maneuver the skis, the poles, and the boots to get my body to stand in an upright position. In fact, I had to ask my cousin’s nephew to unlatch the skis so I could move out of the way of oncoming traffic. I tried to ski for a total time of five minutes and decided skiing wasn’t for me.
My failed skiing experience wasn’t something I could dismiss. I didn’t fail at skiing because I was uncoordinated, but because my mind predetermined my failure. I know most of you are saying, it is just skiing, but it isn’t just that. It is the small things that we say to ourselves before we try to accomplish a task, goal, or plan. I had all of the appropriate resources to ski, but after five minutes I didn’t want to try again. I guaranteed my own failure a week before. I know that we are all geared to say that we are determined to succeed, but I wonder how many of us are secretly setting ourselves up for failure.