Slide of a Lifetime

Slide of a Lifetime

 Start of an extraordinary day full of new experiences.

Start of an extraordinary day full of new experiences.

Today, Christmas Day, 2014 is the first day of my first ever kite boarding holiday. I’ve done lessons in San Francisco before, but this is my first dedicated holiday to this new sport, which has, for years now intrigued me. And to be honest, I did it with intrepidation at the potential frustration I am going to experience trying to learn a new sport now, and at the same time concerned for the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) I’d possibly experience by not heli skiing at this time of year.

But as I look forward to this amazing week, I am pondering two things:

  1. How incredibly grateful I am to my parents for introducing me to skiing at such a young age of three, because it totally shaped my mind and life in so many ways, more than just the sport of skiing. And
  2. What maybe possibly the impact of kite boarding on my life from now as I embark on this new and equally addictive (I am told) sport.

On Facebook tonight, one of my buddies who runs a Heliski operation up in AK, surprised me by posting a picture of him telemark skiing. I had no idea. He was always a snow boarder to me. Naturally I commented at his prowess, surprised to hear that he telemarks too of all things. He responded that he’s against ‘edgism’ (discrimination based on how you slide). He slides every way he said! I laughed, but then I thought about the how the act of sliding is such an awesome experience for your body no matter which way you slide- for me, it is alpine and telemark skiing, and soon to be kiting!

I have my parents to thank for everything that skiing gave me, and I am sure fellow ‘sliders’ you can compare and add to this long list:

 Looking over the Baja view with wind stirring up for a new day.

Looking over the Baja view with wind stirring up for a new day.

  • Firstly my love and respect of snow and mountains everywhere,
  • Addressing the fear of falling that is the price of admission to all gravity sports,
  • Feeling comfortable and exhilarated by speed,
  • Facing adversity in extreme cold,
  • Overcoming danger in avalanches, cliffs etc,
  • How it drove me to travel and discover the world (since there ain’t much decent skiing in Australia last time I looked),
  • How skiing allowed me to make amazing lifelong like-minded friends all over the world,
  • The boyfriends I bonded with who share the same deep passion I have for the mountains. 
  • Skiing inspired my adventurous spirit onto other equally scary sports like parachuting, rock climbing and white water sports,
  • How the human ability to learn is a gift to be honoured and valued
  • It taught me independence and independent thinking- when you ski- you make your own path down the mountain. You choose your every turn. I love that freedom.
  • How it taught me the value of money in terms of amazingly fun experiences you can have with it, (and yes, that included self-funding my first Heliski trip when I was just a few years out of university).
  • It taught me that where there’s passion, you can make a business out of it.
  • That (the business) taught me that so many rewards in life come at a price- hard work and dedication, despite how it may appear to the contrary on the surface.
  • Self respect- it’s ok to not be an overnight success. Sometimes you just have to plug away at it. And keep going (as my father always tells me- ‘keep going’).
  • But it also importantly taught me that success and work isn’t everything- that just being out there in the pow or the regular snow just being and living life to the full is so rewarding and fulfilling and we must not forget our means to our end.
  • There can never be too many powder days. (an apt conclusive point!)

And so it is, that I sit here in La Ventana Mexico, on my hotel balcony, looking at the stunning Baja view, watching the wind stir up for this new day, writing this blog. I am pondering what amazing experiences and learnings are ahead of me as I embark on my next big sport – Kite boarding. I’m a little anxious, but I also can’t wait!

So, what exciting interests or pursuits are you planning this next year?  And what can you learn and build on from them?