That 8YO kid was a stranger at the top of Mount St. Louis but it might be the smartest advice I’ve ever heard.
The back story….
Four years ago on Thanksgiving weekend with our neighbours, we all declared ‘WE WILL BECOME SKIING FAMILIES!’ It was impulsive. Expensive. Perhaps stupid and did I mention like really fucking expensive? But no matter, we jumped on the bandwagon and went to the ski swap the very next day.
Skiing came quite easily for most, although I can’t deny the panic attacks, self doubt and frustration that I know we all have felt at one point or another. I couldn’t ever say I have ‘enjoyed’ skiing for a great big chunk of these 4 years, but the apres was on point, and obvs the cute outfits :)
I mean, we live in Canada, winter is inevitable, so why not embrace it and enjoy what many folks cannot. Great sentiment but when you find yourself on a lift reminiscent of a lawn chair, the wind whipping through you in the middle of a snow storm, seated next to your 10YO and he’s like this doesn’t seem safe to me, you start to question those life choices.
I have fear of heights, fear of speed, fear of falling, let’s just say I have had more moments of self doubt then anyone in our group, but I still went. I went with tears in my eyes, and have stomped my feet in anger at the hubs more then once when he pushed me too far out of my comfort zone. I’ve had that fear slap me in the face while at the top of a ‘green’ run in B.C. in which the entire group stood at the crest of this ‘absolutely a black diamond and NOT a green’ run in panic and thought WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE.
But I went on. Although Big White was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, I’ll admit it was a bit life changing. The lost luggage, then the found luggage party, our friends who drove in a snow storm for an entire night just to be with us, the losing Wren in a tree well, the ‘Fuck this shit’ mentality in the midst of a blizzard with no idea where we were or how we would get down the hill. I mean, it was a terrifying thing but maybe that was why it was so great. I conquered that bitch and it made me feel powerful, and when we all sit around and reminisce about the trip, which we do frequently, I can tell I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
So while yesterday was my virgin ski run of the season, it was by far the best first day out I’ve ever had. I didn’t feel awkward or anxious going up the lift. Even though it was a tad icy, I manoeuvred the runs fairly easily and realized I was actually enjoying a sport. I KNOW! Kelly enjoying physical fitness is like bizarro world times 10. I felt like I had turned a massive corner.
I never actually met the little kid who sparked the title of this story. It was told to me by my neighbour, who stepped out of her comfort zone yesterday and attempted the all terrain park. While gathering her courage for the jumps, she told a bunch of kids to go on ahead as she was most likely going to wipe out. But instead of rolling on through he turned to her and said ‘If you aren’t falling, you aren’t trying’, and patiently waited his turn.
In retrospect he probably wanted to witness an epic wipeout (she didn’t) but the lesson was simple and clear regardless. Falling is going to happen, whether on the slopes or as a metaphor for life, but assuming I don’t break a hip in the process, it’s all worth it.