Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby Turns vs the Big Slope

I went skiing yesterday.  It was good fun.  There was snow, and a hill, and I went down the hill.  Something like that.  A few times I went down into the snow.  The usual drill.  Nothing big.

But actually, every time I go skiing it is something big.

I don't remember wanting to learn to ski.  I remember my mom thinking it would be a good idea, socially, to be a skier - something I can do with friends, since most of my friends are skiers.  The thought of attaching my feet to long planks of wood and sliding down a hill more than freaked me out.  I didn't want to be at the mercy of gravity.  I've mentioned before that I'm scared of falling, and, somewhat related, I managed to go through the entire Red Cross Learn to Swim program without ever learning to dive.  I can do racing dives now, for swim team, but it took getting my Water Safety Instructor certification to be able to stand on the edge of a 1-meter diving board and dive off it.  No jumping, no fancy anything in the air.  It never happened.

Nowadays, I enjoy skiing, but its still a lot of work to get to a point of feeling like I'm in control. Steep slopes still scare me, even in little bits.

The first (and pretty much only) black run I went on was practically a face.  Not exactly... easy when you're scared of slopes.  But I was going down with a ski instructor and a class that was just as scared as I was, and the instructor knew how to handle it.  One turn at a time.  We worked our way down the hill in a line, only considering the small patch of hill in front of us, the skill required for a single turn.  Then stop.  Then turn again.  Then stop and celebrate one more victory over the mountain.

So it was yesterday, when I encountered a couple steep slopes that were just big enough to be intimidating.  Looking down at the whole slope was scary, but one turn is manageable.  Eventually, the slope gets shallower and I can keep going... much faster than it would if I just stared at the whole thing and got scared.

So it is in life.  Sometimes it's good to look at the big picture and not get caught up in the nit-picky details, but often we're faced with tasks that are too large and scary to comprehend all at once.  For me, right now, that task is finding a job.  "Find a job" is huge.  Updating my resume isn't.  Emailing someone to ask if they know of anyone who's hiring isn't.  Cleaning my room can be big, but picking up my jacket isn't.  And one jacket at a time, it'll get easier.

... [well written, inspirational conclusion].

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