I was once again on top of Upper Adele’s, one of the highest slopes on Cascade Mountain, waiting at the ‘ready’ but not really ‘set’ to ‘go.’
I was Frozen, by both fear and cold combined. Can I do this? Will I lose control? Will I survive?
We’ve all had that moment. That point of no return. Where there’s nothing else to do but… LEAP.
Three deep breaths in and I was racing fear. It was scary. It was exhilarating… that of the ‘spine tingling’ kind. Twice- no- thrice the adrenaline-charged nerve-wracking experience one gets when dropping from a roller coaster.
When skiing, YOU are the one in charge of your fate. If you know what you’re doing you can take it slow, maintaining a steady speed whilst maneuvering yourself to safety- across the steep slippery terrain. Unfortunately, for a less experienced ski-er (who has not mastered the art of braking yet) on a very high slope, you’re more likely to zip uncontrollably by- a runaway train on the verge of disaster.
During those moments I knew I had to stay focused. Losing control was not an option. There were a lot of obstacles- ravines, trees, rocks, fellow skiers in my path. Since I couldn’t brake I’d force myself to fall, countless times, to avoid injuring others, damaging property or falling to my death.
It felt like I was never going to make it down alive. But I did. Making it down that slope was priceless. It was an overwhelming kind of High. One of success, relief and a beaming sense of accomplishment.
Looking back, I realized how that experience has taught me a lot about the resilience of the human spirit. No matter what the odds are and how difficult things get, no matter how many times you fall, there’s no stopping us. We will rise above and beyond for as long as we can. In the end, we’ll get to our goal, it’s just how we get there and for each individual it’s different. For some it’s a breeze, others will stumble multiple times but still pick themselves up and try again. Sadly, there will be those won’t take the risk and give up half way. (Maybe next time)
It was through this experience that I realized that I can be a risk taker, a fighter. Suddenly I knew what it was to ‘Face your Fears.’ Now, I feel more ready than ever, to accept more challenges having faced and conquered my first mountain.