Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dust Yourself Off and Try Again

As I lay face down in the snow I thought to myself, "That is it! It's over. Just lay here for a while and then give up." Let me rewind a bit and tell you how I got here. Last weekend, I embarked on trip to Snowshoe, WV with about 19 friends. One of my reasons for going, other than to enjoy an incredible weekend with people I like, was to knock off number seven on my 30 Things By 30 list. At the outset of the trip, five people, counting myself, were going to try and snowboard for the first time. By day two, it was just me.

So there I was. All by myself on the frozen slope. Everyone else was skiing/snowboarding with each other since their skill set was up to par. Already sore from the prior day's frequent and rough falls, I had just taken another tremendous spill that had sent me face first down the mountain. My goggles, which were perpetually fogged up, had flown off my face and were laying another five feet down the mountain. A few people had seen my fall from the ski lift and had made a few rude remarks about my obvious lack of skill. One guy cracked his skis together in an attempt to dump his accumulated snow on my head. I lay there feeling various pain receptors send signals to my brain urging me to cease the torture. My head and heart were starting to listen. "It is okay, you tried." "So what if you don't reach your goal." "Give up, you will never get it right." "You have failed yet again. It won't be the last time."

The last thought got me revved up. I was angry at myself now. Did I really think I was going to master snowboarding in a day and a half? I was now determined not to give up. I needed to prove myself wrong. As I pushed myself onto my knees, my body made one last plea to stop. I got up continued down the mountain taking a few bumps along the way. It was my last run of the day because the lifts would be closing soon. But now I was determined to continue my third day.

The third day started like the last with my body meeting snow at awkward angles. But I continued to press on and eventually got comfortable and competent enough on a snowboard to get safely down the mountain. You can read about it here.

The point of all of this was, day three was a huge pay off. If I had given up I would be sitting at home with regret still not knowing how to snowboard. But I did not give up and accomplished my goal. On day two I could never have envisioned that I was going to suddenly figure out how to go down the mountain without falling. Sometimes the bumps and bruises in life attempt to dissuade us from accomplishing a goal or vision. But I encourage you to press on. You might be met with physical pain, heartache, and sacrifice. But you never know how the next day will turn out if you do not press forward to see what will happen. In the words of the late Aaliyah, "dust yourself off and try again."

1 comment:

JMS said...

Well done, indeed, Grasshoppa.

Your snow-sensei,