As a lot of you already know I like to take a ski holiday most years. Ben (my boyfriend) introduced me to it nine years ago when I visited him as a lovesick teenager (lol) whilst he lived in Chamonix, France for six months. Spending time in the mountains really is humbling, natural beauty at its finest and what a way to make you reflect. I enjoyed it straight away but by no means was I any good (thank god for the 'snow plough' and baby slopes). Fast forward 9 years and I have found some confidence in my ability, yes I have improved (a hell of a lot) but a few years ago I felt like I 'cracked it' and that was mainly down to my mindset.
I used to have so much anxiety when stood at the top of a ski slope that seemed a little steep and bumpy, a voice in my head telling me that I wasn't good enough...the slope was too difficult... what if I fall? As soon as I changed my mindset and realised that the mountain won't move for me (and I sure as hell wasn't getting the lift back down), so the thing that had to change was how I viewed the mountain. Everything seemed to fall into place. I stood at the top and believed in my ability to get to he bottom. No matter how steep or bumpy and so what if I fall a few times, I believed in myself. Not surprisingly, the hardest part was actually taking the plunge. (You do kinda have to pull yourself together when a four year old speeds past you having the time of their life and you are throwing a paddy at the top).
Ben has always been my biggest cheerleader, on and off the mountain, believing in me when I didn't/don't believe in myself, he has said to me countless times "you have the ability to do that, the only thing stopping you is the voice inside your head". No matter how much other people believe in you, it's only when you start believing in yourself and put your mind to the task in hand that things begin to change.
I know this all might seem a bit dramatic, when actually all I did was ski down a hill, but I feel like the concept can be applied to so many areas of life, the point I am trying to make is less about my skiing experiences and more about the broader lesson(s). When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Even if the road (or piste!) ahead looks a bit steep and bumpy, even if you fall down a few times, when you believe in yourself you can take on challenges you never thought you would be able to.
Me and Ben on our most recent ski trip in Colorado. (the most patient man in the world, he has put up with many strops whilst teaching me to ski)
The patience paid off, it has been a few years since my last strop and this year I was choosing to take the black slopes (the hardest type), even this one called 'nightmare'. Am I OK?
This just makes me want to go back! Sir Edmund Hillary once said "its not the mountains we conquer but ourselves" and that really speaks to me.
Thanks for reading