A Four Year Absence

Last week’s post mentioned that our vacation included a ski trip with our friends out in Colorado.

For most people, a trip out West to ski picture-perfect trails coated in fresh powder would not induce anxiety. But for me, it did.

This trip was the first time I had a been on a mountain in FOUR years. More importantly, this was the first time I was back on a snowboard after I broke my hip. I was not concerned about remembering how to get down the mountain. I figured it was like riding a bike and my muscles would figure it out in a few swift moves; but deep down there was still fear of falling.

I knew that my hip had healed beautifully and was even stronger than before with new bone and extra metal reinforcements. So my fear did not stem from a concern of hurting myself; it was simply the act of falling.

Leading up to the trip I was full of excitement and butterflies. But I was also trying to picture how I would feel flying down the mountain, strapped to a snowboard, with the inevitability of falling that comes with the sport.

Before I knew it my feet were dangling from the chair lift and my destination was the top of the mountain. My body was tense as I strapped myself in and began my first journey down a mountain in years. But as my muscles slowly remembered how to work in unison with my snowboard, I realized that my four year absence from snowboarding was all preparation for getting down this mountain.

I had strengthened my body, I had practiced moving mindfully, and I had even learned how to adapt to new realities. I was strong enough physically and mentally to get down the mountain, including a few spills here or there.

It’s always hard to face your fears, whether you have arachnophobia or FOMO. But I would not have changed anything about the moment I found myself back on a mountain, because I felt like me again.

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