There are many of us that spend our time always wishing we could do the things our adventurous, outdoorsy friends seem to do so easily. There’s always that person in your circle of friends that’s traveling or jumping into some crazy new activity or artistic endeavor. There’s a secret to how they do that, and I’m going to share it with you.
Last year I bought a used set of cross country skis. There’s two styles classic skiing (where you typically see skiers slide forward by pushing their skies parallel to the snow) and skate skiing (they kind where you see biathletes push off to the sides to propel themselves, similar to how one would skate on ice – hence the term “skate skis”).
I wanted skate skis because long, long time ago I competed in biathlon, for one season, when I was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
I’ve often thought back to those days, the first time we put on those skinny little skis we fell left and right trying to balance ourselves. It took a few training sessions before we could even ski on them. I ended up competing in a short race somewhere in Edmonton and somehow placed high enough that I made it to the provincial competition.
We were the laughing stock of all the other competing squadrons. The little misfit squadron with second hand clothes and skis and none of us matching. I remember everyone else was wearing these spandex racing suits and here I was in my neon pink Sun Ice jacket with tights.
Provincials were at the Canmore Nordic Centre and I threw up before the race. Nerves. I don’t remember much, except being passed a lot and having to take penalty laps because I couldn’t see through my glasses when shooting at the targets.
I ended up getting mild hypothermia because apparently tights aren’t the same as racing spandex.
We raced as individuals and as a team. It was called the Patrol race. Where the team comprised of three members that had to be within a certain distance apart at all times. It was a long time ago but all I remember is that Carie- Ann and I and the third girl came in third. It was definitely one of the most memorable times of my life.
Then the individual places were announced… Cari-Anne came in 10th, I came in 13th and the other girl 15th in the entire province. Turns out little misfit 699 Jasper Place Squadron was holding out!
Fast forward to now, I guess I’m hitting the mid life crisis kind of stage. Wanting to relive the old glory days.
It’s been a year since I bought those skis and besides piddling around with them a couple times I really haven’t used them.
It’s because I’ve been scared. Intimidated. There’s a huge part of me that knows my body is no longer conditioned for it and I’ll probably not be able to go very far.
I guess I’ve felt like “what’s the point?” “Why would I drive 45min to a trail to only ski for 30min?”
Why? Because you have to.
This is the hardest part of being an adult, we develop these insecurities about our abilities and we no longer can be swayed by others that we can do it. We’re set in our ways and afraid to fail. So why try?
In children we promise them success and support when they try their hardest. We give them love and hugs and they trust us. Somewhere along the way of becoming an adult we often think it’s too much work to try and we tell ourselves that we’re happy staying where we are as we are. We no longer trust others when they say we can do it and often dismiss their encouragements as false promises.
That is why facing challenges and fears are so much harder as an adult. Ultimately you are responsible for motivating yourself to grow.
Pining for things will never bring you joy. The outcome of your happiness is directly related to your effort.
Take a page from my little experience today. There was no one there to pack my hot tea and lunch. No one there to drive my ass to the Nordic Centre.No one there to buy my trail pass and no one there to clip in my boots and says “let’s go.”
There’s was only me. I know it’s not easy getting off our asses and doing things but we have to. If we want to become that person that inspires us to be better, stronger, healthier we have motivate ourselves and push ourselves.
In the end I finally got myself onto the trail into my skis and though I was as graceful as a baby giraffe, I’m happy that I did it.