I recently spent sometime in Perisher skiing. It is something I do each August with friends and family. I’d admit to being a novice; I wear ski gear bought from Aldi, I snow plough and am still forming a parallel skiing style.
Having had the pleasure of incredible weather last year, I was unprepared for the icy conditions that were bestowed upon me this year and so as I fought off blizzard conditions with goggles more suited to long distance cycling, no balaclava to protect my face and who needs a ski helmet (?!), I rode a t-bar up a mountain being pelted with what felt like thousands of pin pricks in minus zero temperature unable to see one metre in front of me.
Anyone who has ever ridden a t-bar in non blizzard conditions would testify to the technicality involved. Google plays it down; a noun, a type of ski lift where skiers are dragged up the ski run while they slide along on their skis on the slope. My definition; a t shaped bar which arrives at what feels like 60km an hour which is placed at your butt by an operator who is screaming instructions at you. No sliding involved, but extreme concentration, sheer will and amazing core and quad strength (neither of which I have).
I’ve worked out I can avoid falls but having my head up, skis pointed straight, don’t sit, just lean and as me and my friend have determined (definitely a control thing), no talking until the very top when we decide who is brave enough to remove the t-bar (technicality involved in this too!) to prevent knocking someone out ahead of you.
So with all this in mind and wanting this to be over, I considered my clients and the teachings of Mindfulness; being in the moment and Yoga; holding an uncomfortable posture, being in high levels of discomfort and knowing it will all be over soon.
I can vividly remember the entirety of my 2 hour ski lesson (my amygdala hijacked no doubt!) but I am proud of myself and grateful to have techniques available to help me in situations of discomfort.
I do however have to work on my graciousness as a fellow skier in my group motioned for me to have a break with her at the top of the last mountain to which I replied “I just need to get to the bottom”. The once previous V8 mountain which scared me, now offered me freedom and the 2 hour ski lesson was in the past and all I had was the story to tell and the experience of surviving it.
Discomfort doesn’t have to mean forever. It’s momentary. It’s what you decide to do in the moment which determines your experience.