Last weekend I went away on a ski trip. Skiing was something I had never done in my life nor something I had any real desire to do but I like this guy so I thought I should try it. I didn't think I'd like skiing because I don't like winter or being cold but for skiing you get to wear fun things like ski jackets and neck-ups and put little packets of heated stuff in your gloves. And you get to go "cute-outdoorsy-type" when out on the mountain with fleecy vests and shape-hugging shirts with strategically placed graphics. And super cute waterproof boots on sale. Or at least I did.
My coworker, a fanatical skiier invited me along on her annual ski trip knowing that my special friend with the blue eyes (as well as some of our other coworkers) would be there. I invited a skiing friend and we got a room at an Inn with... wait for it... an outdoor heated pool! Have you ever heard of anything so bizarre? And yet so wonderful? It was such a great experience to be outside in a warm pool with snow all around. Steam was rising off the water because it was so cold and every now and then I would take a hand or foot out of the pool to remind myself how freezing cold the air was. But don't worry, the entrance to the pool was inside a building and there was a plastic curtain to swim through to get outside.
I signed up for a skiing lesson by myself for the morning and I was scared. My big fear was the chair lift but not for the reasons everyone seemed to think. I wasn't scared to fall out, I was scared to be stuck hanging in mid-air in another situation I couldn't control. When the instructor explained the agenda to the class, it sounded like the chair lift part would be extra, done later, if we really felt comfortable. So I relaxed a bit and shoved my feet into heavy constrictive rented ski boots. Then the instructor announced we would be taking a shuttle bus to the beginners slope and I began to worry anew. As I've mentioned before, my anxiety surges at the thought of riding in something which I'm not driving. It sounds silly I know but it is what it is.
Luckily I didn't have much time to think about it and it was a short ride. Thinking back I know that if I had known ahead of time, then that would have been the focus of my anxiety and I would've made a huge deal out of it with worrying and maybe even chickening out. But the fact that I just did it? It was nothing. I guess the key to overcoming anxiety is to stop thinking so much, but how?
Anyway I learned to ski. It was cumbersome trying to move with skis on and waiting in line for the rope tow and everything was a lot of work for like, 30 seconds of skiing but it was worth it. I only fell a couple times and that was when I didn't know how to stop myself from sliding away so I made an emergency stop by pitching myself to the ground. Once I couldn't get up and it was really rather comical. A bunch of little kids were trying to tell me how to manuver my skis but I just couldn't do it. Finally an instructor had to come and rescue me from sitting in the snow the rest of the day.
I guess I did really well according to the instructor. I'm a quick learner when I like something and I did like skiing. But at the end of the class it was time for everyone to take the chair lift and as I stood watching it slowly move along many feet up in the air, it suddenly stopped for several minutes. The image of skis swinging with no ground below them froze in my head. I couldn't do it. I had challenged myself enough for one day. I didn't want to ride it with the instructor who didn't understand my fears and was giving me a hard time. I wanted to go myself or with a friend. I said I'd had enough and called it a day.
Am I disappointed in myself? No, not if I go back and do it again soon before I lose my momentum but yes if I let it stop me from trying. Mostly I am proud of myself for facing my fears - the whole trip was scary for me what with being over three hours away from home and trying something new and the possibility of spending time with the guy I have a crush on without looking like a total loser... I could've opted out of the whole thing but I didn't and now I've discovered that I tried something new and enjoyed it.
There was a lot more to the weekend but it's a story for another day. You'll just have to wait in suspense to hear what happened with the boy (not much) and the drama that night (darn wine!) and the college boys we played pool with later (21 years old!!) - do you think we revealed our real age to them? But for now as a lovely three day weekend draws to a close, I have to think about possibly going to bed. Part two coming soon! (Really.)