Leveling Up

This week I learned the importance of leveling up. I like many people, are perfectly happy doing things which I know how to do.  There is something satisfying about completing activities well.  This week, I am headed off to Colorado to do something I don’t do well, skiing.

In fact, I believe I have skied a total of 5 times before heading out here.  Three of which were when I was in junior high.  Needless to say, I am not a skier.

This week, I started off skiing the bunny hill at Keystone Resort.  A slight decline down the mountain, which took me all of a minute to get to the bottom of.  I then stood in line with the other newbie skiers and snowboarders, to get on a conveyor belt to the top of the mountain.  This usually took about 20 minutes of time.

Magic Carpet at Key Stone

I was slowly getting used to the feel of the skis on my feet.  How to balance my weight on the skis to turn and how to stop. 

My husband and son wanted me to go down the next level hill.  It was a 3.5 mile run down the full mountain side.  I opted out.

And then, we switched skiing to Breckenridge Resort.  We choose which of the areas of the mountain to ski down based on my very beginner skills.  My husband found the green hashmarks where things were family friendly and slow. 

We got my skis on and headed down the hill straight to the chairlift which would take us to the top!  There was no conveyor belt area for me to practice on.  I was going up the mountain!

And I was scared.  I wasn’t sure if I was ready to make this leap.  What if I wasn’t ready to level up yet.

What if I really didn’t have the feel of the skis down?  What if I really couldn’t do the turns to avoid running into people?  What if I got going too fast and couldn’t stop?  All of my wonderful thoughts as we rode the chairlift to the top.

Where other fears started.  How did I get off the lift????

My husband was patient and helped.  He even gently pushed me around someone who had fallen getting off the lift in front of us.  Phew!

The first run down the slope was slow!  Really slow.  A whole lot of snowplowing was going on.  Or as they teach the young kids now-days – pizza feet!

I slowly made my turns down the slope.  I avoided all of the people stopped or fallen over along the way.  I managed to stop when I needed to.  Nothing terrible happened.

But what did happen, was by being forced off the baby hill, I gained confidence in my skills.  I slowly got a little better each time down the slope.  Each time a little faster, a little less “pizza” feet.  Which means, that every few seconds I may have had my skis together in “french fry” position.  But there was still a whole lot of pizza going on.

What I learned is sometimes leveling up makes all the difference.  To try something a little bit out of your comfort zone.  To push yourself more today than yesterday.

So, tomorrow we head back out to another ski resort.  I will avoid the bunny hill and head off to the easiest of green runs.  I may be pushing a little, but I am not stupid.  I have not graduated to anything over the easiest of runs yet.

Pushing past my feelings of what I can currently do, to what could I do if I leveled up a little, was hard.  It was definitely scary.  I am sure it will continue to be hard in skiing and in life in general.  The truth is though, it was also immensely satisfying to discover I could do a little bit more than I thought I could do.

I’m sure there will be failures when I try and don’t succeed in leveling up again.  But finding new skills and enjoying new things in life is part of the wonderful journey of life.

What is it you are waiting to do because you don’t think you are ready yet? 

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