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.
Unfortunately, our “inner voice” is especially loud when it is dispensing bad advice and put-downs! You captured this dilemma perfectly.
Rudri, I like your skiing experience. I understand that your fear about skiing but don’t give up!!! If you will try again you might succeed.
Fail,fail & fail then succeed.—Abraham Lincoln.
We are just going to have to go again before season is over, so you can try again.
When I took ski lessons (many moons ago) we were standing on flat land going over some basics and I fell. The instructor said, OK….we’ll go over how to stand up when you fall. That was going to come later, but….. That was the HIGH point of my lesson!
Although I applaud your sentiment here, Ru, you know how I feel about the skiing. I tried once as an adult, remember? And even though I had my share of intimidation, I gave it a go! I even lasted two half days out there getting better and better. Then the slope “tiny tiger” came along and took out my ACL. 9 months of rehab for that little “expand my horizons” trip. I no longer am willing to put those sticks on my feet, thank you. And yes, this is a mental thing. A conscience decision to not risk that ever again! I wouldn’t beat yourself up over this. Sure, try again. Sure, have a better attitude. Do as much as you are willing to risk. But if skiing isn’t your thing… take it from someone who has tried, failed, and been there… there are plenty of other off the slope activities to participate in — the spa! shopping! cross country snow shoeing ! sledding!
Ok. enough of my bitter ski story rant. This one just touched a sore spot personally, as you can tell…