Daring I am not

IMG 2333 300x225 Daring I am not

Even the 8-yr. olds beat me to the bottom every time.

We spent the weekend on an annual get away with three sets of neighbors skiing out at Wisp resort in far western Maryland. I always look forward to this weekend, for many reasons: the time spent catching up with good friends; the time our kids get to spend with their friends; unplugging from the routine. The skiing? Well, maybe not so much.

I’ve told you ad nauseam about my cold weather aversion. Skiing kind of requires cold weather. Then there’s the whole speeding down a hill part. I’m not much of a fan of activities that require me to let go of my sense of control. I’m not saying you have to totally abandon control to ski, but it does help to have some willingness to push a bit out of your comfort zone, and I’m just not good at that.

This goes way back with me. Growing up on a lake, we had an awesome old fashioned, wooden diving board that sat pretty high off the water. My younger brother, from an early age, was doing spectacular dives off the board. Me? I can remember my dad sitting underneath the board in his row boat coaxing me into trying a dive. It took me forever, but I finally did it. Still, I never embraced it like my brother and most times could be found jumping, rather than diving, from that board.

In adulthood, this sense of fear has made me pretty piss poor at descending on a mountain bike, and also means that I am a slow descender when trail running. I wish I could just let go with abandon and charge down a hill, but my inner fear monger just grabs hold and won’t let go. I think this is one of the reasons road running has been such a good fit for me–it doesn’t really require any loss of control, does it?

I see similar traits with my kids–one is cautious, the other embraces the dare. I think most people are one or the other, with a few falling in the middle somewhere. I wish I had a bit more courage to let go and speed down hills in whatever activity it might be, but I’ve come to accept that at this stage in the game, that’s a personality trait that I don’t have and probably never will.

How about you? Embrace the descent or put on the brakes? 

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  1. I am right there with you! Down hill anything makes me a chicken. :)
    Erin recently posted..Not my favoriteMy Profile

  2. Definitely put the brakes on. Any form of downhill has me putting on the brakes with a vice-like grip and sweaty palms. But natural caution has meant that I’ve never broken a bone or done any major damage to myself.

  3. I’m with you on this. Skiing makes me a nervous wreck! I always feel like I am going way too fast and have no control, even though I only go on beginner slopes. It also took me probably 10 times riding down a particular hill on my road bike before I could do it without using my brakes. And when I finally did it I was telling myself the entire time not to use the brake.
    Shannon @ Mon Amour recently posted..To Get There, You Have to Go ThereMy Profile

  4. Oh Amanda! I love this for so many reasons. I totally get what you mean about feeling out of control with skiing. Oddly, I’m definitely a cautious one and I don’t like feeling out of control at all. Biking or skating downhill? No way. But skiing? The mountain is the one place that I feel like I can embrace that sense of speed (not that I go fast) and being out of my comfort zone. I’m guessing that the ocean/surfing will be another place once I get back to it.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Put on your own oxygen mask firstMy Profile

  5. I don’t ski (mostly for this exact reason). I keep my brakes liberally applied when descending a hill on my bike (as crash scenarios float through my head), and I’m not sure I’ll EVER make the transition to mountain biking.

    But put me in my trail shoes, and bring on that downhill!!!!!!!!!! For some bizarre reason, something about descending on the run just clicked for me early in my trail-running “career”, and I somehow feel safer with my body weight forward and my stride opening up, with my feet just barely touching the ground…LOVE that feeling. I think it’s as close to non-plane flying as I’ll ever get. And somewhere in my subconscious, my brain really thinks that I’m less likely to fall with these gentle taps on the ground, rather than trying to control a steep descent. Bonus? It’s gentler on my quads!
    Holly KN recently posted..Quick Peek At URun 2013, and Debut of the Word “Pre-cap”My Profile

  6. I wouldn’t say going downhill fast (my favorite on a mtn bike or trail – the more technical the better!) is “loss of control” – I would say there it’s a skill and confidence to do that well. I won’t say i’m great descender, but I am competent. It did come at price tho – as gaining the skill and confidence has cost me skin, blood, multiple bruises, 24 stitches and a broken ankle. But I will say the the high from going downhill fast or cleaning a technical section has beaten*everything* I’ve ever experienced road running or road biking. :)
    cynthia recently posted..randoms and guest postMy Profile

  7. I’m sure you’re not surprised by this but I definitely embrace the downhill :) Skiing, mountain biking, trail running– whatever. I love the feel of adrenaline combined with speed!
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  8. Brakes for me! My friend and I were just talking about that fear of letting go of our sense of control and how we’d rather not, which is why we run S L O W downhill on trails and steer clear of mountain bike riding! I was shocked to discover she enjoys skiing! Not me. I’ll stick to running ;)
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..Meditation To GoMy Profile

  9. Oh, I’m a brake-loving girl for sure. A little more abandon on the run, especially when I’ve been doing a lot of trail running so my trail sense is up. On my mountain bike I’m regularly frustrated by the way that my fear limits me…but it’s not something I’ve (yet) been able to let go of.
    Kate recently posted..Best. week. ever.My Profile

  10. I’ve learned to embrace the downhill…a little. While I love snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking I’m always very cautious and never all out flying down the hill. The one thing that’s always going through my head – “you could really get hurt doing this!” :)
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Marathon Monday Week 2My Profile

  11. i like to think i’m a little daring…all sorts of up-high adventures SOUND so fun to me…but i also have a paralyzing fear of heights lol…i usually try to push through it though. full speed ahead is fun sometimes :) but i’ve definitely gotten more cautious as I’ve gotten older.
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted..Bean Bytes 26My Profile

  12. BRAKES!! I think skiing is fun if I can stick to the baby slopes, I really want to not get hurt though so I can run :). priorities!
    Christy recently posted..What a difference a day makesMy Profile

  13. I’m actually in the middle — when I feel good, I’m happy to let it rip, but I’m also more cautious now that I’m older.
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Training: 2/18/13 – 2/24/13My Profile

  14. I think I always was a BRAKER although NOW I blame it on age :-)
    Miz recently posted..Fitness mission statements.My Profile

  15. We were at Wisp over New Year’s a few years ago and it was so cold there were only a handful of other people out on the slopes. I was crying trying to get my boots off because my toes were so cold! I recently learned from riding my new bike that I like to go FAST although I do get a bit scared on those curves!
    Coco recently posted..Training For The Cherry Blossom Ten Miler (XTrain DVD Review)My Profile

  16. I went skiing this weekend too! I love it but depending on the conditions I wont necessarily speed down the hill. I feel like I do take on the dare and just go for it but I do have the common sense side of me. For example, I have been downhill skiing all my life, I like to ski the hard trails because its fun, but Saturday when we were out there, the snow started to get heavy and skiing became difficult. I wanted to keep going but in my heart I knew I should quit because it wasn’t worth an injury. So I skipped my last run down the double diamond hill, headed to the easy slop and coasted down to the bottom. I guess for me it just depends on the situation, I will try anything but only as long as I wont put myself in too much danger!
    J recently posted..Too much TreadmillMy Profile

  17. Put on the brakes for me too! I grew up in the Deep Creek area and have been to the Wisp a total of once to ski. How’s that for non-daring and doesn’t like the cold…I lived 10 minutes from it! :)
    abbi recently posted..Breaking AnonymityMy Profile

  18. I enjoyed skiing when I was younger, but not at neck breaking speeds. I would stick to the intermediate trails and get there when I got there. Kind of like my running!

    The Kidless Kronicles
    Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles recently posted..Sloth Sunday and SinisterMy Profile

  19. thats so me! i hate the cold, and i fear the descents. I usually just ski once or twice and then go get hot chocolate. hehe. But i always try to like it.
    lindsay recently posted..Sweet Saucony: Virrata Shoe ReviewMy Profile

  20. Due to the law of physics, I have to use what I have to my advantage and embrace the decent
    Scott recently posted..Weekly RamblingsMy Profile

  21. I’m with you – I don’t want to get hurt! I have zero desire to snow ski (mostly b/c of the cold and then b/c of the falling). I do water ski and wakeboard, but that’s about as adventurous as I get. I only got a bike in Nov after years of hubby trying to persuade me that I’d enjoy it. And I sort of do, but am such a Nervous Nelly the entire time!
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Don’t Stop BelievingMy Profile

  22. Oh I’m a total fear monger too! Because of this I am one of the worst downhill runners ever. I always get passed going downhill in races and make up my time going uphill. Makes no sense!

  23. I like going fast but not toooo fast..unless I”m on a rollercoaster!

    I haven’t been skiing in ages. It’s actually something I don’t think I’ll ever do again. I say this now lol
    Kierston recently posted..Getting Away!My Profile

  24. I’m like you! My older brother is much more adventurous than me. Guess that’s why he’s been a successful entrepreneur and I’m working in Corporate America. I have often wished I could just take “the leap” per say but I’ve not been able to talk myself into it just yet.

    Nothing wrong with being cautious. :)

    Sounds like a great weekend!
    katie recently posted..Saucony Virrata…Find Your Strong!My Profile

  25. I was smiling as I read your post because the last time I went skiing, an I’ve never really learned to ski, was a couple of years ago. My husband snow boards so I decided to rent skis and go with him. After falling 1/4 way down one of the larger hills and getting stuck, he took me to the bunny hill. The bunny hill doesn’t look bad but if you don’t know how to stop and don’t know how to control skis, you can go pretty darned fast. And so it goes… all those little itty bitty kids were zipping down the hill, making it look so easy. I get to the top and thought “Here Goes!” and just let myself go.
    When I got the bottom Ted was laughing hysterically because he said I went SO FAST, ripped past everyone else. He thought if I were to fall, it was going to be BAD.

    As for losing control, the thought never came to me. I just had the same thoughts as I do during a long run or race, “lets just get this over with and if it hurts, it won’t hurt for long”. :)
    Joanne recently posted..Getting Up and Running Plus Quinoa Beet and Glazed Carrot Stick SaladMy Profile

  26. I’ve had it with Winter so right now I’m having a hard time imagining anyone seeking out the snow. But I would definitely be putting the brakes up.
    Mom’ s Home Run recently posted..Running for QuietMy Profile

  27. I’m the same way! That’s why i don’t bike and I don’t ski. I used to roller blade when I lived in NYC and I did so in a fairly frightened state the whole time!
    Felice @ The Happy Runner recently posted..Quality miles.My Profile

  28. I do not embrace the descent. I am right with you on not wanting to lose my sense of control. That goes for any type of situation. I guess that is a reason why I am not as adventurous as some people. I would prefer to stay in one piece with nothing broken. :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Week 8: The week my mojo returnedMy Profile

  29. Oh I am all about a slow coast down!!! When we skiied I was all about the wedge!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  30. Gotta be comfortable with who you are! I’ve become more cautious with age. In my 20s and early 30s I would ski black runs with total abandon (I’m an intermediate skier at best) but now I’m 40 I am more than happy to ski greens all day, don’t like anything remotely icy or steep, and find that my kids, who are both daredevils, scare me to death! My older son goes straight down, barely turning, while my younger son finds every bump and even uses the side of the run to perform stunts on!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Chocolate Cherry Chia Protein Nutella NibblesMy Profile

  31. I recently took my daughter sledding with a girlfriend, something I hadn’t done in years. I was actually surprised how nervous I was with it. I don’t know if it is because I’m training for a full marathon and don’t want anything to ruin that goal, or if just these type of activities are more scary when you are an adult? However, I’m all game for a rollercoaster :)
    Christina recently posted..Long treadmill run, food, and hydrationMy Profile

  32. I definitely put on the brakes, too. I wish I could be more daring, but you’re right- this makes road running a great choice!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Heart Rate Monitor GiveawayMy Profile

  33. I can’t speak about skiing as we don’t get that here :) I’ve always been a cautious type of person but strangely enough I am fearless on a bike. Road or mountain I just go with it. Not on par with my character at all.
    Johann recently posted..The LSD RunMy Profile

  34. i am a totally cautious nelly and thus skiing isn’t exactly my thing :) I’m pretty sure some of it comes from being a klutz when walking!
    Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..Activity Tracking Devices: Worth it or Not?My Profile

  35. I am a chicken too! I am scared of heights in the worst way – is plunging down a steep hill…UMMMM NO! haha
    Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) recently posted..Happy Heart Project + the Perks of Winter RunningMy Profile

  36. Oh I’m with you. Too scared to do anything downhill (except running, I guess). I find that I am such a scaredy cat – even when I am on my bike :/ I’m always just so scared of falling. UGH.
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Long Run Mental ToughnessMy Profile

  37. It is so good to hear this from someone besides me. I thought it was just me that doesn’t like speeding down trails, or going fast downhill on my bike. I also stay away from skiing due to the out of control feeling I get and fear of getting injured and then not being to run!
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..Marathon Monday – Back to runningMy Profile

  38. I’m a brakey kinda gal. When running especially, I imagine myself getting my feet caught while descending, then tumbling downhill with my bruises, scrapes and extra injuries. Therefore, I’m brakey AND clumsy.
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Emergency Breakfast Mug ShotMy Profile

  39. I am always the last person down the hill. It has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I’m okay with it though. I have a vague memory of a youthful step outside my box, jumping on a high wall and balancing. Or not balancing because I ended up falling in cactus. One of those stories my mom loved to tell :-).
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Weekly Training Recap: La Jolla Half Marathon Week 5My Profile

  40. The last time we went skiing, I was good for about 2 runs and then I was cold and done!!! Plus, I’m not a strong skier and everyone kept waiting for me and wanting me to hurry. Finally I sent them on their way, took my time down the scary mountain and called it a day – much more fun to hang in the condo and watch people coming down the slopes!
    Kim recently posted..Exercise: Fun or Dreaded?My Profile

  41. I am a total sissy! I’m not even a huge fan of biking – I’m with you on the whole lack of control, and I am not a fan of the cold, either!
    Melissa @ Melissa Running It recently posted..The Running Joke – Women’s Half Marathon {Recap}My Profile

  42. For me it’s about control. I like having control, in pretty much every aspect of my life, running, biking, skiing included. I have no problem going fast as long as I feel like I have control. The second I don’t feel like I have control I get scared.
    Amanda recently posted..Workout Recap and Workouts 2/25-3/2My Profile

  43. We’re soo much alike. I’m always super cautious. I wont just let myself “go” on a trail race and fly down the hill skiing, I’m always side-to-side gently. My mom was in a nasty ski accident when I was younger and she had to have knee surgery. That’s always stuck with me. My kids are much the same. One is a risk taker, one not. I love that I have both in them!
    Coy recently posted..Exercise, you make me hungryMy Profile

  44. Love to ski up here! Don’t have the best or biggest hills in Ontario but at least there’s something!
    Robin recently posted..Back from Vacation, Resuming TrainingMy Profile

  45. Skiing terrifies me. Ugh. I do not like the speed and lack of control.
    Heather recently posted..It is the fragile blossom that opens in the snowMy Profile

  46. I love a good thrill, but I have to say a few years ago we went white water rafting and it scared the life out of me, I think something changed after I had kids, the instinct to be here for them is strong. Glad you had a nice vacation!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Kyle’s Krusade Race RecapMy Profile

  47. I’ve lost my thrill of the downhill as I’ve gotten older – fear of broken body parts keeps me in check on the ski mountain!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Race #1 Done, 12 to goMy Profile

  48. I’m all about barreling downhill. The best skiing is when it’s zero because few are crazy enough to be out there and the snow has an amazing crunch. That said, I effed up my knee big time mogul jumping once and haven’t skiied since. : /
    Marcia recently posted..Workout Recap and Midweek FunMy Profile

  49. I’m a huge [HUGE] chicken, too. I am good at uphills on a mt. bike but get eaten alive going down!
    jan recently posted..Do you run when you’re sore?My Profile

  50. I felt like I was tip-toeing down the Moab race I just did, I am so afraid on the descents when there’s a lot of rock involved. I’m going to have to get over that!!

    I don’t like to ski anymore, and I live in the ski capital of the US. It’s just way too cold for me.

    Looks like a fun vacation with your friends! :)

    I owe you an email…I am way behind on life. One day I’ll get my Moab post up!
    Jill recently posted..And on the 8th Day, God Created LOTS of HillsMy Profile

  51. I snowplow the whole way down the hill. I don’t like skiing at all, and it’s the loss of control that I feel when I am flying down the hill that I dislike so much!
    Alicia recently posted..Summer 2012 RacesMy Profile

  52. 8 year ago I went snowboarding for the first time in beautiful Denver, CO. I broke my arm. I haven’t been back.

    Brakes to the max.
    beka @ rebeccaroams recently posted..The 2nd best thing to running…My Profile

  53. I have become much more cautious in my adulthood, specifically after not having health insurance for a span of time. I used to be pretty fearless. I will still speed down most hills while running, I like the feeling of flight, but I think that also is what helped screw up my knee. I’m about to embark on a similar skiing trip with my friends to Whistler! We’ll see how I do with speeding down the slopes!
    MegG recently posted..In My Twenties Tuesday: Time to Get PregnantMy Profile

  54. I swing both ways; it depends on what the activity is. I can ski downhill pretty fast, but I am a little more cautious on the downhills when trail running. Maybe I have a false sense of security with all the ski gear on, whereas on the trails I am vulnerable and naked.
    Travel Spot recently posted..My Side of the MountainMy Profile

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  1. [...] Daring I am not I loved this post from Miss Zippy. She talks about her generally cautious nature and need to be in control. In 9 out of 10 instances, that would be me, but skiing is the one area where I embrace the speed. But it’s an interesting look at how and when we decide to embrace the speed or put on the brakes. [...]

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