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Thursday, March 17, 2011

When I started my ski clinic I was comfortable on blue runs. The point of taking the clinic was to challenge myself in ways I would never attempt on my own. Having an instructor to give tips and technique would help me push the boundaries of my comfort zone and, ultimately, make me a better skier.

The first time we arrived at the top of a black diamond run our instructor encouraged us to come close to the edge and check it out. “Looks pretty steep, right?” she asked. We, with visions of falling more than skiing down the hill, agreed. She then proceeded to give us tips to make it both physically easier and psychologically less intimidating. One of those pieces of advice was “Don’t look down the whole hill!”

“Do you see where you would want to make your first turn?”
“Not that bad, right?”
“Do you see where you would make your next turn?”
“Not that bad, right?…Focus one or two turns ahead of where you are rather than looking at the bottom of the hill.”

We all nervously but successfully made our way down the hill and felt so triumphant at the end that we all declared, “Let’s do it again!”

As I have now finished the ski clinic and look towards training for my first 10K, I’ve decided Amanda’s advice is much more universally applicable to life than just to black diamond hills. Often, I’ll think about a task and the intimidation factor alone will keep me from entertaining any thoughts of pursuing it further. That’s what I’ve done with running my whole life. Longer distances seemed so impossible. BUT…no one starts training for a marathon by running 26.2 miles.

While “getting to the bottom of the black diamond” may be the ultimate goal, the way to get there is one turn at a time. This could be applied to so many things in life. For me, right now, it’s my 10K. As I start to think about doubling my running mileage from 3.1 to 6.2, I will take it “one turn at a time” slowly adding to my mileage each week until I arrive at my destination and, just maybe, proclaim “let’s do it again!”

Here I am finishing off a Black Diamond Run at Brighton Ski Resort!