When Joshua tried skiing, his body couldn’t get used to the new motions he had to master. When Jimmy tried snowboarding, he couldn’t quite get the hang of it. But switch them up and get them into their element, there’s no stopping them. They could go on and on. I’d be dead tired and they’d still be at it: Joshua on the snowboard and Jimmy on skis. Jason and the boys can already conquer the slopes together since their levels go beyond decent.
Me? I’m forever a beginner on the slopes but I’m in it for the views. I can’t get out of the paranoid V stance and transition into consistent parallels although I’ve had moments when I nearly got it only to be foiled by the fear of the steep, steep slope — the kind where you arrive and not see anything but a line between you and the sky. It’s a drop that stops me in my tracks. After getting stuck several times, after botched attempts at skiing through a clump of trees, after whimpering for help, after wishing life was a Matrix movie CGI and I could lift myself up with magic ease, after countless attempts to put on my skis at wrong angles, after feeling sorry for myself watching everyone including small kids whiz by, I realized next time, I should take lessons from a professional.
It’s like a metaphor for a start-up enterprise when you feel you’ve lost confidence and doubts paralyze you, when the challenge feels too overwhelming at times, when chutzpah dissipates due to historical and current insecurities. You can’t get up and people pass you by oblivious you need their help. At this point or before you reach that point, you have to seek out other people’s support and expertise to guide you out of muddled thinking and ineffective action.
My kids: they’re another story. Every parent’s dream is for their children to surpass them, to soar through greater heights. They’ve done that on the snow and hopefully carry it on wherever they choose to go.
We went to two different places to ski because Niseko was too expensive so we cut up the Hokkaido trip into two parts and hit Sapporo first. Niseko is too painful on the pocket that we could only afford 7-Eleven meals but by that time, we had become more adept at saving money in Japan. For instance, layering t-shirts works as well as a rented ski jacket. This doesn’t take away from the magic of the adventure, the beauty of snow on trees and marshmallow delicious on the ground and rooftops. We extend and stretch ourselves to find versions of ourselves that we befriend again.
I would probably never ski like these guys below but these photos from free magazines in Niseko motivate me to improve enough to conquer my fear of the near-vertical.
Ah! To be fearless in that sport and in life! How does one get there?