This statement holds merit as I think we all tend to be impatient, desiring satisfying end results here and now. Our perpetual culture of living for instant gratification isn’t exactly a helpful tool for learning a new skill.
When I was 3 years old, my dad took my brother and I to Alta, Utah where we began our first ski lessons. Only a foot or two off the ground and from a yard sale, we were reckless. Fear isn’t as instilled in your bones when you have 20 layers on and are likely to bounce back up from a fall. Not to mention possessing a childhood spirit boundless in adventure and curiosity.
Some things return like riding a bicycle. Skiing did not for me. Muscle memories lost, I dove head first into relearning a skill my body had apparently entirely forgotten. Frustrated and slow, I felt like a 90 year old grandpa, hunched and embracing pizza turns like they were my last breaths. Legs burned. Blood boiled. And skiing was not fun anymore.
Learning new skills can take an incredible amount of patience, but are a wonderful lesson in keeping humble. All said and done, how could I complain about having the opportunity to ski? Over the past month I’ve come to realize three lessons in my skiing endeavor:
- Be patient. Being good at something makes us feel good. Simple as that. And we want to feel good fast. Yet the learning curve differs per person and type of activity. It’s ok to realize our bodies are not robots, and that certain muscles have to build and gain memory before we can excel in something. Patience is humbling.
- Trust your body and your gear. I think there is an unsaid law of the universe that allows us to be better at something when we stop overanalyzing our every move. I first realized this growing up playing the violin. My upcoming recitals would always leave me petrified. In the recitals I overthought every note, my fingers would stumble. In the recitals I trusted my fingers and simply felt the music and ran with it, I’d ace every note. There’s something to be said about doing something without thought. Definitely counterintuitive, but somehow true. A type of mind-emptying meditation, be it on the mountain or within the music. Violins are built to resonate sound as skis are built to cut edges.
- Have fun. Sounds cliché but it’s true. In my fits of frustration, I really would lose all aspects of fun. It was in those moments of realizing how lucky I was to be on the mountain and to be able to laugh at myself that I was able to relax mentally and physically and enjoy myself. Life is not a stress rehearsal. If we don’t conquer our goals in one day, don’t worry-it really is FINE. Things take practice and time.
So enjoy and embrace the journey ☺