I love cross country skiing.
Being outside, in gorgeous scenery, gliding around in peace with Ryan is absolutely one of my favorite winter-time activities.
It wasn’t something I grew up with, or even tried before college, but my Sophomore year I was watching Great Hotels on the Travel Channel and the most beautiful resort was being featured; Mohonk Mountain House.
I have written about it before, since it is where Ryan proposed and arguably one of the most fabulous places in the world, but after watching Samantha Brown gush over the restored castle, mountain air, and service beyond compare, I knew we had to go.
That December Ryan and I piled all our stuff in the car and drove through a major snowstorm, for nearly four hours, to make our destination.
It was our first trip just the two of us, and a little winter weather was not stopping us from enjoying a few days off.
We were both amazed by the accommodations, amenities and family-feel of our getaway, and having all activities included in the price was just another thing that made Mohonk tops on my list, but neither of us had a plan as far as what recreation we were going to do.
We never really discussed it actually, which is totally not like me, since I pretty much schedule everything, but I was nervous about my long weekend with a guy I was pretty darn in love with.
With all the snow some of the employees suggested we either snow-shoe or borrow some of their skis.
We tried the shoeing and it was fun, but as we saw others gracefully moving through the fresh powder on their skis, we were intrigued.
Ok, I was intrigued but scared.
I had never done something like that before, and the perfectionist in me started to emerge saying, “DO NOT cross country ski. You will look like an idiot in front of someone you want to like you. Tell him you want to do something else.”
I didn’t want to even TRY to ski because, oh my gosh I could fail!
Ryan really wanted to go, so the people-pleasing side of me took over and reluctantly agreed.
Thankfully he had never done it either so we were both newbies struggling to balance and put on the equipment, but once we both stood I felt some relief.
I looked like a penguin waddling around trying not to take huge strides and completely wipe out, but we were waddling together!
We laughed, we fell, we saw some of the most mesmerizing landscapes ever, and we conquered something I was so fearful to try.
By day four we were like professionals (ok, maybe not) passing others, going fast, maneuvering around sharp turns, and climbing elevations we didn’t even think to attempt before.
I was remembering these moments the other day as I was encouraging a friend to try something she was also scared of, and explained that in my situation, although I was petrified to mess up, once I got started the end result was SO worth it.
Wow. Am I the best advice giver and worst ever follower?
Wouldn’t you think I could apply my cross-country skiing adventure to another, very important aspect of my life?
I have the same wonderful person, and many others, who are by my side as I embark on a journey toward the unknown; a full life of health.
I might have similar fears; failure, looking stupid, being judged, but honestly if Mohonk’s excursion can teach me anything, it should be that sometimes the most nerve-wracking experiences turn out to be our best.
Sometimes the results from testing those challenges are the ones most worthwhile.
Maybe I should start taking my own darn advice and just stand up.
So what if I fall?
No one is perfect.