Stepping outside of your comfort zone
Ever recklessly decide you are going to try something way outside your comfort zone?
Last weekend, I caught the delusion that I could attempt snowboarding.
I like adventure, I like the outdoors … I am capable of ignoring my extraordinary clumsiness.
So I and a group of people who have been in my pandemic bubble this whole time piled into a vehicle and headed for the mountains (If you’re hurtling yourself down a mountain in single digit temperatures, you’ve got to have your face covered anyway).
Trudging around in unfamiliar boots carrying a snowboard toward the “bunny” slope made me question my wardrobe. Peel off one layer and I’d freeze. Leave it all on and it’s a sauna.
Any attention paid to the rising temperature under six shirts and four pairs of pants was quickly diverted to HOLY COW I’m sliding down a hill with my legs locked onto this tiny board and OK, this is fine, I’m still standing, this is fine, I’ve got this MOVE PERSON, MOVE! I don’t know how to turn. Or stop. HELP!
My niece had attempted to give me a lesson. She said matter of factly “Just lift up your front foot and when the front of the board rises, you’ll slow down. And just, you know, stay balanced.” Right.
Well I’m telling you now, that when I lifted my front foot, I skidded, went sideways and fell in the most spectacular way.
I have a line of bruises on the inside of my left upper arm that indicates the front of my board managed to make contact there.
I don’t recall being bent that way, but it all happened so fast.
It was not the last time, either.
For three hours, I slid, tumbled, flipped and a few times actually snowboarded my way down the easy slopes.
Once, a ski instructor stopped me, and asked me to take off my board and walk down to the lift … then return to an even more elementary slope.
It was good advice, except in hopping off the lift at the top, I fell so hard on my face that the guy in the little booth ran out to pick me up.
It’s a good thing they make people rent helmets.
On the easiest of slopes, there was a wonderful little treadmill-looking thing that allowed people to gently ride back to to the top.
No timing getting into or out of lift chairs — just remain standing on your board and slide on and off. You all know where this is going.
I slid on at the bottom and instantly got my board stuck on the wood along the side, then flopped and flailed like a fish trying to right myself.
I was yelling “I’m sorry!” to the people staring in horror and waiting to get on.
By my last couple of tries, I was able to stay upright and get some speed and distance going. It was the stopping that was the problem.
Still had to bail, and then bump and skid to a halt. But I was beginning to have fun.
Then, the challenge.
One of the youngsters in our group asked “Want to race down?” It’s well known you cannot refuse a race with a second-grader.
I’d get a little ahead of him and he’d yell “No!” and then get ahead of me. Neither of us was paying a lot of attention to the people we were rapidly approaching. Of course, by then he knew how to maneuver himself away. I did not.
So I looked up, panicked, bailed, and kind of helicopter flipped to a halt. Then I laid in the snow thinking That was it. That was the one. Someone’s going to have to come get me.
I’m sure I looked like a turtle trying to flip back over and stand up. But I did, eventually.
Second-grader swished his way over to me and said “Do you want to go inside? … Do you want to take your board off before we go up the (treadmill lift)?”
Yes. Yes, I did.
By the next morning, I was as sore as I had been after my first half marathon, with more bruises.
Much like that first half marathon, however, I was happy I’d given something a try, had fun, and am better prepared for next time.
I tell you about my mishaps to let you know that, as always, if I can do it, so can you.
It has been a long, long year of fear and worry.
It may be even harder to convince ourselves to get back out there and try new things — venture out of our comfort zones again.
Do it, anyway. Safely — and I mean that in terms of stemming the spread of the virus.
You’ll be glad you did.
Christina Myer is executive editor of The Marietta Times.