I am a cautious skier with a membership at a ski hill. I had an accident several years ago that took me off the slopes via ambulance with a concussion. I don’t remember the accident or how I managed to be lying on my back with all my gear still where I’d put it, and have my head feel like it was bleeding out and hot. As a result, when I am skiing every bump and ice patch makes me feel like I am going down. Not downhill, because that is the point. I mean down on my ass and out for another season.
There are times the hill scares me so much my goggles well up with tears by the time I get to the bottom. These are not mountains ladies and gentlemen, these are Ontario ski hills I am talking about, and you could likely walk faster to the bottom than my pace on skis.
Our son boards and it always looks like snowboarders and feeling comfortable and having more fun, so I thought I would try. I don’t have any baggage with boarding, after all. I can start the slate clean.
I took the opportunity at a Ladies Ski Day to receive free lessons and enjoy free rental equipment. It might be hard to believe, but I was not the youngest or cutest in our little class of two participants. Our young male instructor spent more time with my colleague. All his time.
It was difficult, but I made it down that hill a few times before I fell so hard I had to lie on the ground to ice my butt. Handy having the ice at the ready.
Despite the setback, I had another boarding lesson, this time with a real instructor on my own. I am far from ready for the terrain park, but I was having fun, feeling safe, and enjoying the club again.
The falls I had snowboarding in attempting to become the next Shaun White, were eyes wide open and uncomplicated to diagnose the impetus. Learning sometimes hurts.
I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed boarding and think I might try it next season. I am sitting the rest of season out on a rubber invalid doughnut (nothing says turning 50 like that phrase. Right there is everything I fear.)
Maybe this is just what I needed to get back into skiing too? A lesson that what breaks you, doesn’t have to defeat you. Get up off that broken ass and get it right the next time. Admit there is more to learn and go and learn it. Maybe it will be snowboarding or maybe skiing next season. Time will tell. But that hill will not keep me from spending time with my family away from the temptations of warm chalets and hot coffee. Wait. Did someone say warm?
Experts say that broken bones heal by building up deposits around the broken area creating even stronger bones. Having a setback in life is also about building a base to reinforce your resolve and strengthen you.
Was depression that for me? Did it try to break me so that I could be stronger? Yes.
The tricky thing about depression is that you don’t sometimes know when it is hanging around and trying to mess with your mind. Your brain plays these dumb games with you, and you buy in. Awareness of what is happening can often be the hardest part, and it comes with practice. Reminding yourself that your thoughts are lies, that your perceptions are not who you are will remain the reoccurring test.
When I clear out the cerebrum garbage, reminding myself that what breaks me will build me up, can be the mantra to get me off that couch and back outside in the world, even when it is cold. My bones might be easy to break, but my resolve is harder to fracture.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Tip: What breaks you doesn’t have to stop you.
Check out the video: