This past Thursday, I went skiing.
It had been four years and a day since my last ski experience… an obvious fact when faced with the previous lift ticket still attached to my ski jacket.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about going up… it was with a new group of friends and my winter sport tries have been few and far between over my lifetime. I had never really had a good ski experience, in the four previous attempts.
I am, after all, a summer girl at heart.
But I wanted to give it a try. Being of the athletic persuasion, I hated the fact that I had no “winter sport” to keep me entertained. When this opportunity fell into my lap, it seemed worth a shot.
And what a different experience it was.
– Four years (and one day) ago, I spent most of the day on the mountain alone, after one unhappy run with my bf.
– This time, I spent the day with six others, playing and generally being ridiculous.
– Four years ago, I bit it getting off the chair lift, rendering any subsequent experiences terrifying.
– This time, I flowed off the chair lift like a pro. A slightly nervous pro, but still, complete success.
– Four years ago, I spent the day doubting myself, my athletic ability and my life decisions.
– This time, I spent the day basking in new friendships and new possibilities.
– Four years ago, I spend the day listening to my own thoughts.
– This time, I spend the day listening to laughter and boisterous “cacaws” when anyone in the group passed another.
– Four years ago, I skied with people who seemed held back by me.
– This time, I skied with people who encouraged, while still pushing me to challenge myself.
– Four years ago, I left the mountain physically and emotionally wrecked.
– This time, I left the mountain physically exhausted but emotionally invigorated.
– Four years ago, my bf and I of six years broke up the next day. (So, not a good day.)
– This time, I went to work the next day with tales of my skiing prowess, to an office where I am surrounded by people I call my friends and work I genuinely enjoy.
There is something incredibly powerful in taking a previous association and remolding it… altering a negative connotation into something you look forward to.
Facing something you didn’t really realize was steeped in past and regrets and sadness head on, and making it into something new is intimidating but so, so liberating.
For me, it took four years, and a day, to do that with skiing.
And man, it felt good.