There are many components to living a Risk Blossoming life. Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about “decluttering your life” and “planning.” This week, we share a recent event that validates the all-important foundation for a risk blossoming life: stepping out of your comfort zone.
I recently decided to step outside of my comfort zone to see if I could still snow ski. After two back surgeries and a knee scope, I had envisioned that my ski days were over. It took a plan to face certain fears I had and certain concerns Deborah expressed. In my wildest dreams, I never saw this coming—the day that I experienced.
We often skied as a family when our daughter Tara was young. I distinctly remember meeting a family one time that had three generations skiing together. That day, I dreamed that someday we could ski as three generations. With our two grandsons approaching ski age, I realized I now needed to know if I could still ski.
The Price Was Right
During one of Southwest Airlines’ sales, I booked $59 tickets to Seattle where Tara agreed to take a day off work and head to Crystal Mountain Resort with me. It is a beautiful ski area on the eastern side of Mt. Rainier, about an hour and a half from Tara’s house. Once you turn 70, an all-day lift ticket is just $24. If I didn’t get hurt and run up a medical bill, this was going to be a cheap ski trip.
The view from the top of Crystal Mountain, which includes Rainier, is simply majestic on a clear day. During the heart of winter, there aren’t many clear days. Seattleites marvel any day when “the mountain” is out.
We woke on our scheduled ski day and, miraculously, there was hardly a cloud in sky. While driving toward Crystal, I hatched the idea to start right off by taking the gondola all the way to the top. On this rare clear day, I wanted get a photo with the sun on the two us with Mount Rainier as a backdrop.
A Blast from the Past
We parked and started slipping on our gear. I realized just how long it had been since I last skied when I opened my coat to look for a pocket for my cell phone. There was a special phone pocket but it was circa 1999. It was long and skinny with a picture of a tall phone with an antenna and a very small screen at the top. My iPhone wouldn’t fit. Next to that pocket was one for a CD player with a place to run the headphone wires to the outside of the coat. Thank goodness this was all hidden when the coat was zipped shut. Then no one could easily identify my vintage skiwear.
Top of the Mountain
When we exited the gondola, the view was breathtaking even though Rainier had now gathered clouds around its upper reaches. Perhaps I was now more concerned that from here, I would have to face more difficult runs right off the bat. For weeks, Deborah had been preaching for me to be careful and make smart decisions. Now, the first decision I had made put me at the very top of the mountain.
I was super careful at first, heeding Deborah’s instructions and my own insecurities. I even took a cat track around a particularly steep area. But slowly, as the day went on, I got my legs under me and started skiing pretty darn good for wearing a 70+ ski pass.
A Dream Becomes Reality
I had planned this day to determine if I could still ski, but you don’t always get what you plan. Sometimes, reality provides something even better. The truth is that the day turned out to be pretty close to euphoric. It was a special father-daughter ski day. I realized it had been a long time since Tara and I had spent so much one-on-one time together.
We experienced the camaraderie of being together along with the exhilaration of skiing in nearly perfect conditions. Add to that the thrill of going down the mountain together, the teamwork of planning the next run, the quietness of riding up the lift together, and the quenching taste of sharing a beer. There was talk of old memories experienced and of new opportunities to pursue.
Living a Risk Blossoming Life!
When I stopped to rest and soak up another beer, I sent Deborah, back in Phoenix, a video of Tara. She was gracefully riding her board down a run we had completely to ourselves. The phone call to Deborah, on our way back to town, was perfect. Nothing broken and nothing hurt. Best of all, I now know my three-generation dream of skiing together can become reality.