Exposing the illusion of barriers.

“Fears, like barriers, are often an illusion.” — Michael Jordan, Hall-of-Fame Acceptance Speech

I find it thrilling when I break through some self-imposed barrier.  Not only is that rewarding, but it almost always opens up a new possibility.   I was out cross-country skiing today and it was a bit brutal!  We are in the midst of a winter storm, so it was cold, windy, snowy and visibility was poor.  I skied out to a hill, it’s called Brick Hill.  The front side of it contains switchbacks and skiing up it will definitely get your heart rate up!  But, I like the challenge.  What I don’t like so much is the back side of Brick Hill; it is straight down and is steep in places.  Skiing down steep hills has been scary for me (probably because too often in the past I’ve ended up in a heap in a snowbank!).  So, what I’ve done this year is that I’ll ski up the front side of Brick Hill and then turn around and ski back down it.  I’ve gotten pretty good at going down the front side.  Today, for whatever reason, I thought maybe I could use my newly honed skills and success with the front of the hill and ski down the back side of the hill.  So, I skied to the crest of the back side of the hill and without giving myself time to reconsider, I started down.  It was fun!

As soon as I reached the bottom, I started thinking about the other hills on the course and how easy those would likely be by comparison.  In fact, I started skiing up and down hills, having a blast!  The one slight problem is that I was having so much fun I forgot that I had to ski — into the very stiff wind — all the way back to the Nordic Center!  By the time I made it back, my legs were trembling, I was frozen — and thinking about next time and where I can go next!