I just got back from an epic 12 day Colorado downhill snow adventure with my boyfriend. We hit Vail, Telluride and Aspen and it was unbelievable. The people, the food, the scenery and of course the Jacuzzi made for a trip I will never forget. This trip also marks the first time that I really really enjoyed myself on the mountain. I have a not so great history with snow sports and pretty much gave them up before I ever started. Hey—I’m from Florida!
I snowboard instead of ski 1) because I had a bad experience at a teenager and 2) I think it looks cooler. I had never really gotten used to all the stuff to carry, the constant pain in my feet from the boots, the cold, the lift, my helmet, the bindings, the other people on the mountain, strapping in and out of the board, bending over in snow pants, the cold. I always had a reasonable amount of fun but it always seemed like sooo much effort. This year I was determined to get comfortable with the whole thing and from the first moment with my instructor things felt different. Maybe it was my changed attitude but by the end of the trip I felt like a bona fide snow bunny. I was having so much fun and was so relaxed that I was actually able to have a nice think on the way down. There are a lot of lessons that apply to snowboarding that can be applied to the rest of life. These things kept floating around my head on every trip down the mountain that I had to share them with you!
1)Go for Minimum effort, maximum results
The board doesn’t need any help getting down the mountain. If you step off it will go happily on its way. Your job is to simply go along for the ride—stay upright, avoid trees and other people. It’s like magic. Look where you want to go and that’s where the board will go. Look where you don’t want to go and that’s where the board will go. I finally figured out that fighting with the board is futile. I was always trying to force the thing to do what I wanted and I ended up eating a lot of snow and blaming the board. I would push and push and be so tense and afraid that the board would literally stay stuck. When I could finally get it moving it would go too fast or too slow or go wonky. So, this time around I relaxed and trusted myself that I knew what I was doing. I gained a lot of confidence and the result was that I spent a lot less time digging snow out of my pants. Trust Yourself. Stop Forcing.
2) Do things before you feel 100% ready
I successfully made it down a few black diamond hills for the first time. I knew I had enough training but it still felt like going over a cliff. I believed I was going to make it down no matter what and I trusted that I could keep things under control and not kill myself. Guess what happened? I made it down and started looking for the next challenge—bumps, lots of bumps. It took me a looooong time but I made it down one particularly bumpy hill and managed to have fun doing it. Turns out the bumps are quite soft to land on, many many times. If you wait until you are ready you may never do it.
3) Everyone has to find their own way to the lodge.
This season I finally stopped comparing myself to everyone else on the mountain. I would feel bad because a 6 year old would whiz by me. I would feel bad because I felt like everyone else was so calm and having such a good time and what was wrong with me that I couldn’t be like them. I thought everyone was aware of my lack of skills. I would have day-mares of me falling off the lift and a crowd of snow-meanies would laugh and point in slow motion. Of course, that never happened—the laughing snow-meanie part. I decided to just concentrate on what I was doing and I had a much better time. In fact I had a blast. Comparing yourself to anyone is not fair. You are on your own journey. Also, there is hot chocolate at the end.
4) Your outfit counts!
This post wouldn’t be complete without some solid style advice. Seriously, though, you absolutely must find the right combination of snow gear that works for you. This is one area where you can’t skimp on quality. It is miserable to have a frozen face, numb fingers or a constant snow wedgie. Having the right garments also means being safe. Frostbite is no joke! If all else fails, you can still look cute.
Those are my 4 life lessons I learned on the mountain. I’d love to hear if you have had any aha moments. Let me know in the comments section!
Much Love and Fabulousness,
I’m Carmen Adriana! I help fierce women rule their world in style! Click here to schedule a free wardrobe strategy session with me today!