Don't Sell Your Skis After the First Run


The first day that I skied out West was probably one of the most defeating days I've ever had. I was 18 years old and had only ever "skied" down a little hill in Indiana one time before I decided to head to Lake Tahoe for Spring Break. I went into the trip with some hesitation, but also blind confidence that I would just be able to pick up the sport. Because it was March, I had been able to purchase skis, boots, polls, and bindings for less than the price of renting for a week. Decked out in my new gear, I was ready to tackle the slopes. Too bad I spent the day face down in the snow, instead. After a long day of failure, I got into the rental car with my mom and boyfriend and actually started to cry. In the midst of the fit I was throwing about how terrible I was, I proclaimed, "Let's just return my skis now! I can't believe I spent money on these, what a waste, we have to sell them back!" With tears streaming down my face and the utmost sincerity in my voice, everyone in the car rolled their eyes, which only furthered my frustration. I felt like the situation was hopeless.

In hindsight, "overdramatic" doesn't even begin to cover my reaction. The next day, I got a lesson, took my time, and actually improved. In the past four years, I've taken five different ski trips, and I'm thankful everyday that no one let me sell my skis and give up on the first day.

In so many situations, I approach failure with an attitude of hopelessness. If a plan begins to crumble and I can't immediately see a way to fix it, I'm quick to doubt and lose confidence. It's a gut reaction that's true for most of us, but in the moments that seem to be as futile as skiing down a mountain without any clue what you're doing, remember not to sell your skis after the first run. There's an experience curve to everything, and you are bound to improve just by pressing on.

You've only tapped into the beginning of an adventure, so don't sell out before the story starts. When you come to a mountain, approach it with a "challenge accepted" mentality, every time. It might take a few falls, but you'll eventually learn how to control your pace.