During winter when I was little, I always liked staying under the sheets, a cup of warm tea or chocolate in my hand, watching TV when alpine skiing was on. I stared at the screen, fascinated and firmly convinced that it was something I could never do.
Then I took a few lessons and slowly but not so steadily I started to ski. Last year was the first time I went on longer slopes and while I faced some challenges, I also truly enjoyed those moments or at least came to appreciate them eventually.
The people around you are completely crazy but then, maybe so are you
If I had the slope only to myself – terribly selfish of me, I know -, I would ski to the skies and back as I absolutely adore the feeling you get when you catch a little speed, and your legs seem to flow by themselves, taking every turn with absolute ease. And when everything comes to near perfection some crazy person comes from behind or sweeps abruptly in front of you and you either freeze like a doe in the middle of street or stagger uncontrollably.
I hear laughter from behind the screen, you know I never said I was a pro skier, right? I do my best not to fall and get in the way. Come to think about it, I myself may be one of those crazy people.
The grip of fear that chokes you also pushes you forward
Every time I get to the top of a slope and see that terrible vastness of white, I gasp in awe and terror. My first instinct is Fork this, I wanna go back only to try and turn my head around and realize I have duck feet so going back is not a viable option. Then I sigh and look back down the slope while mentally apologizing to all the skiers that actually have a clue what they are doing. Afterwards a kid goes past me and he or she is absolutely amazing. I start to see the other kids around me just learning how to ski and managing it perfectly well and my heart beats faster in frustration. I start to argue with myself and even yell at the slope itself: You think you can defeat me? I am unstoppable.
At the first bump I may have my nose in the snow but at least I moved, right?
I guess what I am trying to say is that in skiing – as with many other terrifying things in your life – you need to learn to cope with your fear because the feeling of invincibility you get after flying past it is priceless.
It is a dangerous sport, but the aftertaste of the adrenaline rush is wonderful
If we always live in fear of the unknown we may never come to enjoy ourselves. People smarter than me have said it, and I completely agree with them.
While skiing you should be capable of evaluating all the dangers it may pose and you have to figure out how to minimize them. Your eyes must be wide open and looking everywhere around you, your ears need to be up and intercepting everything, your mind and body should be well-rested and your reaction speed flawless.
There is still much I need to learn – control being one of the most important among them. But one thing I know for sure – at least now, as I am not accountable for what I will say when I get on those devil`s feet again: I do not want to stop skiing, not necessarily because I do not want it to beat me, but because deep down I know I like doing it.
And I guarantee that not much compares to the feeling you get when you arrive at the end of the slope, catch your breath, look up and smile, pleased with yourself.