Well, after much deliberation and the realization that skiing down was the only non-embarrassing way down, I made it down just fine. In fact, not only did I not get injured, but skiing down that run did in fact make me a better skier (turns out the private lesson was worth the money). In that vein, I've spent the last few years throwing myself down runs I have no business skiing down. It hasn't been without tears, screaming, cursing, and (a few times) wiping out, but I've been getting better.
But see, here's the thing. I'm glad I learned how to ski, but what has truly changed my life is discovering an activity that I cannot live without and a place that I love. Skiing is now my favorite sport -- by far. Maybe it's the altitude and lack of oxygen to my brain, but there's something peaceful yet exhilarating about it that I haven't been able to find in anything else. Just being in Tahoe in the winter energizes and renews me, and this feeling has only grown stronger as I've become a better skier. Skiing for me also has this odd calming effect, which if you know me at all, is difficult for me to find elsewhere.
We feel fear for a reason and some fear is a good thing. It is probably good for me to be afraid of walking around a dangerous city alone at night. But most of the time stepping outside of your comfort zone will take you places you didn't know you could go. There are all different types of fear -- fear of rejection, fear of danger, fear of pain, fear of the unknown -- and sometimes we need to feel those things to get to a better place.
I was trying to come up with 2013 resolutions and all the usual suspects came to mind (lose weight, exercise more, work harder) but this year I'm trying something different. My resolution this year is to feel more fear. I hope that beyond just surviving, I'll be surprised about what I find on the other side.
A photo I took last weekend in Tahoe