I TOOK FEAR ALONG FOR THE RIDE….
By Louise Marley
Skiing is not a sport I take in my stride – in fact it terrifies me. 18 years ago I decided, after much persuasion from my sister and other friends who just loved skiing and banged on about what a great family holiday it is, to sign up for our first family ski trip.
Needless to say the kids took to it like ducks to water and in our first skiing lesson after less than two hours my husband was promoted to intermediaries and I was demoted to the baby class!! Whenever I made it to the bottom of the slope I looked back with relief rather than with exhilaration. I persevered and booked a further three family ski holidays much to the delight of the family. I never really improved and the nerves never left me – I watched them race by and move up to red and black runs and accepted that this was not a sport for me and that perhaps I should just leave them to it.
That was twelve years ago and I haven’t missed skiing one bit. I am more than happy to see all the photos and hear all about the hijinks without feeling that I have missed out.
This year though I allowed myself to be persuaded by one of my closest friends to join her and some friends in the mountains for some fresh air, blue sky, snow and lots of Apres Ski – I reluctantly agreed to join them on the understanding that I was just along for the ride. I would get up late, do some snow walking, meet them for a lazy lunch on the mountain, meet them for Apres Ski – what luxury, I began to look forward to a fantastic holiday in wonderful surroundings.
My husband and family kept gently suggesting that perhaps I should try skiing again but I firmly squashed any idea. Then on the day we were heading to the Alps I read the Blog “4 Ways to Knock Out Fear” and it stirred something within me. The idea that particularly resonated with me was that you don’t conquer fear you live with it you “take fear with you but make it sit in the back seat”. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before and it shook me out of my comfort zone and gave me the confidence to give skiing a go again.
Rather than over face myself trying to ski with the others I booked private lessons and the lovely Georgina coaxed, cajoled and encouraged me down those slopes. On the first day I was trembling like a leaf and my anxiety almost overwhelmed me but with some deep breaths and lots of nervous laughter I did it. After 3 days I was skiing with the others, I even fell twice but got back up, brushed myself down and got back on those skis. I have had a brilliant holiday and can’t wait to go again next year.
Have a conquered my fear? Not a chance. I still look down the mountain with intimidation and have to grasp my courage with both hands but now when I am skiing, I feel exhilarated and when I get to the bottom and look back at what I have just done I am so proud of myself. As I watch all the other skiers whizz passed me aged from 3years -93 years without seemingly a care in the world it seems such a small thing but to me its massive – I faced my fear and took it along with me for the ride..