“I have three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” -Lao Tzu
Hello all. I’ve recently returned home from a winter vacation to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. The time away was desperately needed. I finished all of my work, packed my bags, and headed into a no cell-phone zone.
Here’s the thing though: I don’t actually like mountains.
They’re big, cold, never-ending and house dangerous animals. I was on this trip because my boyfriend, Nolan, has been a snowboarder all of his life, and it’s safe to say he’s addicted to the rush of sliding down a steep mountain at high speeds. Not me. I was sold on the trip by the mention of “luxury condo with a hot tub.” Yes, please.
But something inside of me was curious: What if I can do this?
So I enrolled in Snowboard School.
My class started at 9:00 AM, and it was going to run until 1:00 PM. My boyfriend dropped me off by a pile of snow and handed me a snowboard. A quick kiss on the cheek and he was gone.
“You ready?” My teacher asked. I had no idea if I was, so I just shrugged and said, “Sure…”
For the next four hours, I fell over and over and over. Every bone in my body hurt, every muscle strained, my positive attitude quickly dissolved into frustration, and right as I was about to revert back to my 3-year-old self (temper tantrum and all) I remembered three things:
Simplicity. Patience. Compassion.
I took a deep breath and made myself stop over-thinking this process. Lock your feet in the boots, push yourself up, bend your knees, and relax. Simplicity.
Know that you’re going to fall, that’s a given. But each time you fall, you’re one fall closer to everything falling into place. Patience.
You are not alone. Look around. There are people falling all over the place, struggling, giving up. Support them, and they will support you. Compassion.
By the next day I was able to stand up on a snowboard – without falling – and I was able to make it down a mountain by myself! The tears had stopped, I pushed through the pain, and I was overjoyed to be capable of riding down a mountain. I had done it.
It feels good to know that I’m adding “Level 2 Snowboarder” to who I am. I couldn’t be more proud!
Lauren and me about to hit the mountain on our own
Riding on the lift! I MADE IT DOWN!
Mission Accomplished 🙂