I just got back from skiing with my family for Christmas in Mammoth, Ca. On the mountain, I usually stay on the intermediate runs and take my time with other moms while the kids and dads go crazy on the expert and mogul runs. I like to take it easy enjoying the mountain views as I glide down the hills. An ideal day of skiing for me consists of about seven runs in 40-degree weather.
But this time, I was the only female with a group of boys and men- all very good skiers. I didn’t want to ski alone, so I tried to keep up with them on the harder runs.
After just a few times down the mountain, I was exhausted. Trying to go down as fast as the rest of the group left me winded. I tried to work on my form going back and forth with my skis together and my top half facing forward, but I was tense and felt my legs were working too hard. We’d get halfway down a run and I’d stop to take a break, panting like I was sprinting while my husband was not at all out of breath.
“I can do this.”
I kept trying, but after about 2 hours I was exhausted. My shins were throbbing, my feet felt swollen and my ankles hurt. I didn’t want to hold the group back, so I left early.
“Skiing just isn’t for me,” I thought, as I headed home. I must just not be cut out to be a real skier. Maybe I’m too old to get better. My boys will never want to ski with me.
When something isn’t working, make a change
But the following day, I decided I would try again; but this time with rented demo skis. After all, my husband and boys use the best equipment, yet here I am still on the basic skis I purchased seven years ago. Until this trip, I didn’t think my skiing ability had anything to do with my equipment. I mean, I was fine on the blue runs when I’d go with girlfriends. I didn’t know any better.
My husband and I were blown away by my improvement once I put on the demo skis. I didn’t know ski boots could feel like sneakers… I thought the stiff, heavy, plastic feeling of my other boots was normal. All of the sudden I could turn quickly and without so much muscling around. I went from a slow, mid-level skier to being able to keep up with my family on expert runs! I had the best ski day. How did I not realize earlier that my equipment sucked?
For starters, I didn’t put myself in the expert run arena. Therefore, I didn’t need to develop better skills. I stayed in my comfort zone in mid-level runs until I was pushed to level up. By remaining where I felt safe, my kids and husband lost their interest in skiing with me!
Analogy to Life
This made me think about other areas in my life where I may be riding on mediocre skis. Maybe in these other parts of my life, I could also use a change. How do we know what we don’t know?
It also made me think about the phrase, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
At each level of achievement in anything we do, to get to the next level, we need to open our minds and push ourselves to develop/utilize new skills, tools or support. Using the same methods that got us to our current spot will not get us to the next.
If you find yourself working hard at something without much progress, it’s time to adjust what you’re doing. It may not be as simple as changing equipment, but recognizing the need for reassessment is half the battle.
Are there areas of your life you could improve? Parts you don’t know how to make better but want to figure out?
For me, being an entrepreneur in a creative space is kicking my butt. With a finance and accounting background working for large companies, I was accustomed to having a road map of a-z to establish my goals.
Now, I continually need to change things up but don’t always know how to do so. I often feel like Pac-Man, walking into dead ends and having to turn around to try another route. But I’m having fun. And I recognize that I need to switch things up in my business to improve.
And geez, now that I know I can be a black diamond skier and keep up with my boys, I’m scrapping my old skis!
2019 will be a year of riding on more demo skis in all areas of my life. Because who wants mediocre? Life is so much more fun when we’re getting better! Happy last week of the year, guys!