Letting go of failures

January 27, 2011 § 5 Comments

I tried skiing one time in college 15 years ago and it was an utter disaster.  I hated it and swore I would never do it again it was such a horrible experience.  I went with friends to a lodge in NC where the conditions were more like ice than snow. My friends gave me a few quick pointers and then encouraged me down the blue rated slope we were staying on.  I completely  lost control barreling down the hill and if not for my friend’s boyfriend catching me, I would have gone through a fence into a ravine.

I felt embarrassed, frustrated and most of all scared shitless. I was shaking so badly I had to have him ski me the rest of the way down the mountain where I promptly removed my skiis and spent the rest of the weekend just counting down the minutes to leave.

It’s hard for me to feel like a failure. The perfectionist side of me just wants to be naturally good at everything I do. I should have recognized it was a stupid situation and completely the wrong way to learn how to ski but I chose to decide I just wasn’t good at skiing. It was a failed experiment. End of story.

I’ve come to hate that saying “Failure isn’t an option” because I think it’s total bullshit.  Failure is just a part of life.  I’ve had some pretty big ones that I still struggle with, but I resolved today that skiing was a failure I was ready to overcome.

Today I skied! And it was wonderful!

I was extremely nervous about it at first but taking a lesson on decent snow made all the difference.  Not to mention it was a beautiful day.  My instructor at Eldora, John, from Charlotte, (my hometown) and the instructors shadowing him took every step very slowly and helped me build up my confidence at each stage as I progressed.  I fell down and laughed at myself. I felt like a little old lady hunched over holding a cane going down the hill, but by the end of it I was moving, and turning, and best of all stopping at the bottom of the hill.

I wasn’t afraid anymore and that felt really good.

I’m not going to say those little 3 foot tall kids expertly flying down the hill weren’t a little humiliating to me but the important thing is that I might just love skiing!

Now for a nice hot bath. I’m beat!

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§ 5 Responses to Letting go of failures

  • Brannon Penland says:

    snowboarding next week???

  • […] not have laughed harder and happily no fish were harmed in process (much to TJ’s chagrin). 9) I got over my fear of skiing! In fact, I thought I would love cross country skiing the most but I think I loved downhill even […]

  • Hey, it’s Shelly from ski class last week. It was great meeting you, and it looks like you’re off to a good start with your to do list! It’s funny your description of skiing, which is a carbon copy (down to the number of years, except mine was in Vail not NC) to my first experience with it. Admittedly the conditions were superior last week, but John and the others made it a ton of fun! Amazing how quickly it can be picked up. My family and I went back on Friday and Saturday and my kids had such a blast, they’re hooked! Keep it up, I’m jealous of your location in Boulder because the next time we go skiing again I’m sure I’ll need a refresher. I think skiing has also made me appreciate winter a bit more too. We’re in the midst of snowmageddon in Kansas City today and the kids and I actually went outside for the last hour and played in it. Now that we all own appropriate ski gear, it’s actually enjoyable to be outside! Good luck in 2011 with your to dos!

    • dshively says:

      Hi shelly! Thanks for checking out the site. I love your photography as well. What a fun job. It was great learning with you and you’re right, I can’t believe how fast we picked it up. the right clothing really does make a difference.
      I need to get back out before I forget everything!
      Stay warm back in KC!

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