Last week we enjoyed a fun filled family vacation with another family in Mammoth. My husband and I snowboarded and so did our 4 year old, Jude! He did amazing! I grew up skiing, so snowboarding is still relatively new for me. I started off with this amazing confidence! I was turning and gliding down the hill having so much fun. Somewhere along the line on Day 2, we ended up taking a wrong turn (I’ve since learned that navigating the hills properly is SO important), and ended up on a double black diamond run. I not only wasn’t used to being in so much powder (92 inches over the 4 days we were there), but it was super steep. This meant trouble.
In the rest of the article I share with you the scariest part of the story and how I was able to move through my fear 🙂 I have also included some tips for you to apply to your everyday life.
So getting back to the story….the 4 of us (my husband Jay and our two close friends), headed down the double black diamond. This run appeared to be no trouble at all for the guys, but the women navigated their way down VERY slowly. I fell A LOT! If you’ve ever fallen in powder while snowboarding you know how difficult it is to get up. Boy did my arms get a workout!
After making it about half way down, we followed the groomer’s tracks and thought we were home free. Even navigating this area seemed hard! I was now just scared in general and everything was freaking me out. I ended up having to loosen one binding and take my foot out in order to get moving again. Well, my leg sank in over knee-deep powder. This frightened me even more because I was now worried about falling deep in the snow and not being able to get out. I started asking myself, what am I scared of? Well, it basically came down to dying. This seemed strange because I honestly do believe that we live on, and that we are eternal. Then I started feeling bad for my husband and kids and thought I had better get moving. My friend joked later that I decided not to “go into the light”! It wasn’t quite that dramatic, but pretty close 🙂 So I preserved and got going again.
The groomer’s tracks suddenly came to an end, and it was now time to continue gliding down a tiny path at the top of a cliff. Yes, we took another wrong turn. This is when I almost gave up. I seriously thought the others would have to get the ski patrol and have them rescue me on a ski-do. I sat at the top for awhile literally crying my eyes out. Poor Jay (my husband), had to really talk me into trying to go down. After nearly having an anxiety attack, I thought I really have to surrender here and completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, put my trust into someone else. Jay and I proceeded to go down the hill holding hands, on our snowboards, him backwards, me forwards, zig zagging down, while navigating the powder and trees. About half way down our friend popped a ski and was about shoulder deep in snow. Thankfully, he is a skilled skier and got himself out! After that we all made it down the cliff and back on to the regular blue circle run below. Phew! From there we made it all the way down and stopped for Team Bloody’s (Bloody Mary’s) and Burgers.
What a crazy adventure we had! Post double black diamond/powder/cliff hanging craziness, I’m able to come to the following conclusions about successfully navigating the way through fear.
#1. Feel the fear and do it anyways. In this example it was literally true that I couldn’t move forward unless I plowed through my fear. This relates to any kind of fear. It can keep you stuck. Prevent you from moving forward. Just know it is uncomfortable, but you will feel better once you take that first step and just keep going.
#2. Persistence. Have the mindset that you will do whatever it takes to make it through. That you won’t give up 🙂 Don’t let fear win. You will regret it later.
#3. Surrender. We just simply can’t control everything. If I hadn’t completely surrendered and put complete and utter trust in Jay, I wouldn’t have made it down. Try to let go of controlling the situation and “trust” that it will work out, the way it’s supposed to. This was a great relationship builder too!
#4. Celebrate. After all is said and done, go out and celebrate your big accomplishment. You felt fearful and kept going. This is HUGE!!
#5. Tell Your Story. You’ve earned bragging rights. By telling others what you’ve done, you will inspire others. In my case, hopefully I’ve inspired you to plow through your fear and get a map 🙂