It’s official. I am not a downhill skier.
After my fourth lesson this past Sunday, I finally decided that downhill skiing is not for me. I understand the physics of it and I’m physically fit enough to actually do it, but I simply cannot get over the fear of going fast (and falling down and breaking my leg). I felt fearful after my very first lesson years ago, and my husband told me it’s something I would simply have to get over if I wanted to get better.
Intellectually, I understood. A healthy dose of fear can be a good thing. And this past weekend, as I stared down the little bunny slope, I had this thought, “You don’t have to do this.” As we mastered the snowplow down the little practice hill, I thought to myself, “I would rather be dissertating than skiing right now.”
Now, THAT’S saying something.
When I got to the bottom of the bunny hill, I didn’t even want to walk down the rest of the hill. With the lesson was over, I marched right into the rental shop and turned in my skis. I strained my shoulders sliding my feet out of the boots.
It bothered me for days. I am not a fearful person, so why couldn’t I just get over it? I’ve been in plenty of fear-inducing situations in the past. After the fated ski lesson, I took on several crazy water slides at an indoor water park. I love roller coasters. I have even jumped out of a plane. I like a good adrenaline rush, but this fear was different.
Giving in to the fear meant quitting something. And I am not a quitter.
I think that’s why I remain disappointed. I was reminded of what it’s like to quit something, and because I can’t even remember the last time I quit anything, I can’t shake this feeling of disappointment. I have overcome this healthy dose of fear in my professional life lots of times. I do it almost daily as I work on my dissertation. So I know it can be done.
I needed to find a skiing alternative. Sure, my dreams of family ski vacations faded on my only run down the bunny hill that day. But in their wake, a new outdoor winter passion was born: snowshoeing.
I have found my new happy place.