What's your secret to getting down a steep mountain?

What's your secret to getting down a steep mountain?

Tuesday was a cold winter day, about 15 degrees with winds up to 20 mph and a bit of sun peeking out from the clouds. This was the day we’d chosen to go skiing.

“The best ski day…the best powder.”

My friends and I from Miami, headed up to Loveland Ski Resort just an hour or so outside of Denver. I hadn’t skied in nearly 3 years…yet somehow I found myself on a ski lift up the tallest, steepest mountain I’ve ever been up!

As we are climbing up, I mentioned to my one friend, “If the “easy way down”…the green path looks like any of these black diamonds, I’ll be heading back on the ski lift.” We even saw someone getting carried away by emergency ski patrol!

We reached the top of the summit and got off the lift. To the right I saw the “easy way down”…didn’t look too difficult. I figured it must take a different more chill way down, so we began down. The snow began to whip around and before I knew it my friend was off down the mountain and I found myself on the scariest “easy way down” ever.

I began to panic, looking down was as scary as looking up. I felt stuck in the middle of a steep mountain by myself…paralyzed by fear.

How many of you have been in a situation like this? Where you are afraid and can’t move forward!

A few skiers zipped gracefully down the mountain. A group of 2 or 3 slowed down to chat for a moment and one asked me if I was okay. I told her I was feeling kind of scared that I couldn’t make it down the mountain and I asked her if she could ski down with me.

“Absolutely” she said, “just follow me.”, as we went down she reminded me not to look up or down, just look straight ahead directly in front of me where I was skiing.

As we continued, she encouraged me and before I knew it we were all the way down the mountain. As we reached the bottom, my legs were shaking from the experience and for the days following I felt soreness in areas I’d never felt before.

So how did I end up there in the first place? Didn’t I look at the map?

I’d asked a guy at the ski rental office where to go as a beginner. He had recommended we should go up lift 2 and practice a couple times on that green and then head up lift 1 for a longer green. I trusted him and hadn’t double-checked my map. Perhaps he misspoke or maybe he looked at me and thought I could do it.

Whatever the reason I ended up stuck at the top of this very steep mountain; turns out I COULD do it with a little help from a kind stranger. Even when fear paralyzes you to move forward, sometimes the secret is to look at the path directly in front of us rather than taking in the whole mountain. What secrets have helped you through your fears?

With one week to go, before the Orlando makeup show, my mom and I are “taking the lift up to the top of the mountain.” We are nervous and excited, what awaits us at the show! One thing is for sure…I’m glad my mom and I will be doing this together.