By Renae Leith
Whether it’s fitness, a relationship or even your beauty routine, this week I’ve learnt how important it is to push yourself into the uncomfortable. And whilst it can feel terrifying before hand, it feels fantastic once you cross that line. And it is the only way we grow as human beings.
I’m writing this from Val Thorens, one of the premier ski resorts in France. This is my first ever time ski-ing and, as anyone who has ever ski-ed knows, it’s one of the toughest skills to learn.
It’s cold, it’s physically challenging and there is so much that’s new, from how to put on a pari of skis, to walking in ski boots, how to catch a chair lift (harder than it looks when wearing skis), dressing to keep warm enough and so on. This is adaptability at its best.
Then there is the actually ski-ing, which is also not easy. There were children under 10 whizzing past me as I struggled to get up after yet another tumble. And I had to start with no poles, and on the baby slopes. And we were staying with some people who were serious ski-ers of more than 20 years experience. A hit to the ego.
No-one likes to feel as if they are not up to scratch. There were many times I felt really silly, and embarrassed.
My ski buddy who was with me from the UK said it well when she said “there is nothing to be embarrassed about – you’re a beginner and it’s normal to make mistakes, fall over and so on” and she was right. It is our attitude and how we view our steps into the unknown that largely define our experience and what we get out of it and what we make of it.
I have to say it has been one of life’s greatest experiences in recent years. Even after 10 falls on the second day, when I managed not to fall for half an hour, I was proud of myself. I had to start with no skills and build within myself. I had to find determination, and patience.
Travel outside your comfort zone and you just never know what you will find. It is one the easiest ways to love and respect yourself and to also realise there is so much to learn in life. Can’t wait to ski again soon.
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