Informed vs Failure

Today my husband and I took ourselves to the mountain to soar amongst the Gods. He’s a snowboarder, I’m a skier. And it’s very likely that within a few years I will convert to a board. As a kid I grew up skiing on Killington. What I chiefly remember from my childhood skiing is the fun, the excitement, and the speed. Not the searing pain of tearing flesh as lactic acid floods my soft tissue. Or the throbbing pain in my knees. We went to the mountain with the intention of staying all day. I lasted three runs in two hours and I had to stop for the day. Granted the last two runs were from the top of the mountain instead of the base. What does that mean? In the realm of snow sports it’s the difference between sprinting down the mountain and long distance running. Today amidst the agonizing pain of quads, calves, & IT bands I learned that I am a sprinter. Coming back to this sport two years ago was so different than my experience today. Two years ago I was in great shape. I had dropped 45 lbs from intermittent fasting & dietary changes. I had a regular movement practice which helped me reclaim my strength. This was the winter of 2021. In that time I separated from my first husband, moved, got Covid, got divorced, moved again, and got remarried. Cue winter of 2023. All the weight that I had lost has returned. I’m still only about 85-90% recovered from covid and since turning 40 in August of 2022 my knees all of a sudden hurt. Wtf?

Now, the old me hurling myself down the mountain in pain would have had an emotional breakdown. I would have been miserable. In doing so I would have made the people I was with that day miserable as well as a coping mechanism. Today was my new husband’s birthday. Not only did I not want to ruin his day I just didn’t want to be or make anyone miserable. I’m not that person anymore. Today I met the challenge of my pain head on. Yes, it was hard. There were times I wasn’t sure how I’d get myself down that effing mountain. I took a lot of breaks on the way down. I paced myself. I really tuned into what my muscles were saying to me. I communicated what I was experiencing to my husband. I did not get angry. I repeat, I did NOT get angry. I knew I would eventually get down the mountain. I just had to be patient, keep going, and keep communicating. A mantra that I’ve been using in my Wim Hot practice lately is, “my body is safe, my body is strong.” I basically talked to myself using this approach the entire way down. When we finally made it down to the base lodge I congratulated myself on completing what felt like a gargantuan task. Surviving through pain.

We headed inside to have some lunch and figured out a plan. He would stay on the mountain and keep riding while I headed home. We only live 20 minutes away so it was easy for me to come home, soak in a mineral bath for an hour with a cup of coffee, and then go back to get him when he was done for the day. We are both completely knackered. Walking this evening is at best difficult. We both had fun even through the challenges we faced today. With this new sense of understanding I am choosing to view today as an informed experience instead of a failure. Why? Because I tuned into my body in a way that I hadn’t previously and gained valuable information that I am taking into the future. After today I feel a renewed sense of commitment to getting stronger. I want to keep getting better at hurling myself down a snowy mountain whether that’s on skis or a snow board. I want to know that I can soar down the lyfjaberg while carving perfect turns, commune with the Gods, and experience the stillness of riding a chairlift alongside the snow covered trees.