Showing Fear Who’s The Boss!
Showing Fear Who’s Boss!
After brief introductions, the instructor asked if we did any other form of exercise. Throughout the ski run, he was praising my effortless turns and remarking that yoga and running must be paying off.
I was so proud.
More than proud, I was so excited to be enjoying skiing without the fear of falling!
And felt so confident.
It was the first ski day. Living in Miami, Florida I only get to ski once a year, so let’s just say my skiing skills are more than “rusty” after so much time off.
But this year was different. Something clicked. I got to the top of the lift, pointed my skis, and down I went like a pro.
So excited to be on the slopes and be parallel turning with ease. My skis were doing what my body was commanding.
Our last run of the day.
The instructor said to me, “You’re ready for the blue part”. “I’ll go down the green side with the other three students and meet you right by the yellow sign.”
Hearing “blue” made me doubt myself, but I decided to borrow his confidence, and thought, “I must be ready”.
I started out like a pro, but something happened right at my second turn. I got scared and fell. It hurt a lot.
I didn’t even realize the blue part was done.
After that... I forgot how to ski.
My form changed.
Fear got such a strong grip on me that I reverted back to skiing like I had just put on my first pair of skis.
Class was over.
I barely made it to the bottom of the run. My legs and knees hurt from snow plowing. I even forgot how to take my skis off.
I must have looked like a hot mess because I noticed this gentleman looking at me with a worried look on his face.
Lunch with Steve was fun. I told him about my glorious start, my painful fall, and forgetting how to ski.
I recalled someone in my class saying, “You looked like such a badass going down that blue”. Me? A badass in skis?
I took it all in and smiled.
Despite the abysmal end to the class, I was in good spirits and ready for the afternoon.
But I was struggling. I knew what I had to do: point my body forward and let my skis do their thing.
But I couldn’t.
I wanted to, except my body kept looking back. I was making it so hard on myself!
Every time I stopped, it took twice as much effort to restart. It was scarier, steeper, and harder to turn my skis.
We got to the bottom and I told Steve - I’m done for the day. At least this time I remembered how to take my skis off.
The next morning before class, I really concentrated on those feelings from the day before - joy, confidence, freedom, accomplishment...
I wasn’t interested in skiing more advanced runs. My only goal was to go back and do what I had done at the start of the previous day.
I also had a question for the instructor: What do I do when fear strikes?
I’m not sure he had a clear answer. But at the end of the day I realized, I had the answer all along.
The instructor broke our group in two. Turns out I was in the advanced group. I really DID know how to parallel turn. He took us on a lot of runs and gave us tips on how to match our skis. He also taught us a drill to gain confidence.
We went back to basics.
He took us to a part of the run that was steep enough said, “just point your skis and let yourselves gain speed”. You can snowplow (most beginner basic way to stop) to slow down if you want.
Pure Glee!! I was doing it!!
This did two important things: helped me go back to basics without shame that I was reverting to beginner skills and helped me realize that I could go fast and still be safe.
We had two choices: go the crowded, easy way or go down the first blue of the day.
We chose the blue run.
Wind on my face
Clear view of the majestic Wasatch Mountains Range
I had broken the spell!
Are you wondering why I’m writing about skiing instead of perfume?
Because fear has everything to do with debilitating moments entrepreneurs face.
Fear of starting a business
of following your dreams
of falling and looking stupid
This ski trip was more than conquering parallel skiing. It was a life lesson on the strong hold that fear can have on us. That if we just have enough faith in our abilities, we conquer not just the fear but truly reach a new level of expertise.
When fear strikes, we only need to remember a few things:
- Face forward and look where you want to go
- Don’t look back, it throws you off balance
- When in doubt, do small things to remind yourself how good you are
- Trust your gut, you’re ready for the next step
Most importantly “If you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone, you’ll find new things to enjoy” (my 12-year old)
Our last ski day: free skiing with family.
My kids promptly stopped teasing me after seeing my brand new skills. I was no longer the caboose. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but I was a faster caboose.
Something had clicked and my skis were just going to the rhythm of my body. It felt elegant, like a delicate waltz.
Saving the best for last!
It was a blue run, not as easy as they had promised.
At the end of the run, we got to the “drop” part. No clue how I was going to manage. It was pretty steep for my standards.
I screamed and laughed the whole way down. Kindergarten all over again.
At the bottom of the hill, “I fell”. Not because I lost my balance, but because I was laughing SO hard that my body couldn’t do anything else but make snow angels and celebrate.
So much joy
So much fun
So many amazing memories
I had just shown fear “Who’s Boss” right in front of the people that matter most to me.