Late last week we headed up to Vermont for our annual ski trip in Smuggler’s notch. A big group of family caravans up and we pile in a condo for several days of skiing and snowboarding, board games, hot food and lots of fun. Every year as I’m outside I receive several lessons from the mountain. This year, I remembered to write some down…
Like everything, these lessons from the mountain, seem metaphorical and completely applicable to other places in life.
Don't feel silly protecting yourself. Last week it was cold! Sensory shock big time, “feels like -37 degrees cold”. You can either miss out on the fun, stay inside and watch from the window or you can suit up. Put on your layers, don your protection. Think of it as a body armor of sorts. It might feel silly inside as you put on layer upon layer of mismatched garb. If it allows you to get out there and breath in the fresh air without getting frostbite, it's all worth it.
It's a slow go to the top but so fun once you’re there. The lifts are slow, very SLOW on the mountain we ski on with the kids. There weren’t lines but it still takes some time. It can feel a little tedious sitting in the chair and waiting… Once you get to the destination, in this case the top however, it’s so worth it!
The wind may catch you, lean in to the forward motion and keep moving ahead. It wasn’t only cold but it was also windy. There were areas on the slopes coming down with my daughter that she practically stopped as a result of the upward gusts regardless of the pitch of the slope. The only way to keep moving was to lean in to the resistance.
It won’t all be pretty but you can clean up later. In the cold air, on that slow chair climb, with a muff over your face and mittens on your hands… Snot rockets will likely happen, it’s not pretty. Do the best you can… You can’t really remove everything to clean up. Do the best you can and in a minute or two you likely won’t notice. Clean up later, for now just keep going.
Don't stop where you know it's a little challenging. Push through using your existing momentum. Take a break where it's easy to get moving again, where it’s the top of a downslope and gravity will carry you.
Don't go to slow, you might stop. Remember that resistance I mentioned above… If you go to slow the wind will stop you. Other obstacles or even flat areas can bring you to a halt… Build up a little speed to carry you through the tough parts.
Don't go to fast, you might lose control. I said a little speed… Too much speed and you will likely lose control. Sometimes you lose control and it ends up all fun and games with some good stories to tell. Sometimes you lose control and it sucks, in the moment and for a long period after…
The mountain always changes. From year to year, day to day, moment to moment. Pay attention...
The mountains, nature in general always has lessons for us. What are some that you’ve learned???