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?