Friday, February 5, 2010

Mind Over Matter

I have blogged previously about the amazing connection (for me) to running and mental exercise. I didn't start running until age 40. I did it for about 18 months. But I HATED it ever second I did it. Really. Some people talk about a runners high, or getting out there and getting some personal time. Not so much for me. I spent every minute of it wanting to stop. So for me, running was almost completely mental. Convincing myself not to stop to keep on going. stay tuned - I may try it again, but several people have told me that if I didn't like it after doing it 3+ times a week for 18 months, I probably never will.

When I went skiing for the first time a few weeks ago, I found there was a similar dynamic. But instead of hating it - it was getting over FEAR. Fear of falling, fear of sliding out of control, fear of careening off the edge of the mountain. During the lesson, I gained some confidence. This increased as I skied down the bunny hill, and made it though the easiest of the green trails. (see below video when I was feeling GOOD). Then I got cocky and went by myself down a different green trail that merged with a blue trail. Well, I did it wrong and ended up on the top of a big drop that lead from the blue trail to the green. And I got petrified. It was a big incline, and I didn't see how I could do it without falling off the edge of the mountain at the bottom. So I sort of scooted down on my butt (with 10 year-olds on snow boards shushing all around me). Then I had blown any confidence I had and was terrified the rest of the trip down. I barely made it through the rest of the trail (some more scooting involved). Then I decided to go back up and do my "good" trail again. Unfortunately my loss of confidence was now joined by my physical tiring and it just wasn't fun anymore. My legs didn't want to cooperate, and I struggled my way down.

It was so interesting to see how much my mental frame of mind went into this. It was so must less enjoyable when I let the fear in. Interesting. I will definitely try skiing again, and hope to enjoy the confidence I had here:

Don't I look like Suzie Chapstick?

also LOVE this skiing humor!


Anonymous said...

For the majority of my life, I have hated every form of exercise. Hated it as in I'd have preferred a colonoscopy AND a C-section at the same time with NO meds than to work out.

Last Spring, I joined a gym. I'd been doing yoga at home and found I liked it. My best friend had been going to the gym and was thrilled when I finally gave in.

I? Became HOOKED! And then? She got me to try and run. Another thing I said I would NEVER do. In the beginning, I wasn't a fan. Please refer to the colonoscopy and C-section statement above ;)

I never became real good at it--the best I got was 3 or 4 miles or an hour's worth of time. But, it became addictive to me. There was no crazy runner's high, but for me? It was how I got the hate out and the frustrations of life. Feeling and seeing the sweat roll down my body was awesome. Mainly because I, who swore I'd never run, was running.

I put my gym membership on hold for a bit--but, I'm already itching to go back. Itching to run, take a Body Flow class and get back into my kickboxing classes.

Skiing? Sweet LORD, THAT was addictive for me. I, too, was afraid of falling. The first season I skied I fell more often than not. But, I got over it. I became really good at it. I had one nasty fall on the "Suicide" trail when the mountain was real icy. My bindings didn't release and my leg got twisted beneath me and I injured my knee. For a while, I didn't ski. At all. And then? I got MAD. No fricken mountain, no fall, no ice was going to keep me from doing something I liked.

You've totally got this. Ski for me! At 18 weeks pregnant, there's no skiing for me this Winter!

(Sorry for the looooooong comment!)

AnastasiaSpeaks said...

I'm impressed that you went back again and again to try and get over your fear. That's great!

Joni said...

Awesome Job! I enjoyed the link to the new ski warnings too. Very funny and almost always true!