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Fear Of The Next Season -- Ski Rex Says...


Though still three weeks away, most folks are in the Halloween spirit. With the Halloween spirit comes the thought of fear. In fact, there are those that pay decent money at haunted houses and hayrides and haunted cornfield mazes just to get scared, or at least watch their friends and family get scared. No matter the case, fear is a big part of the autumn season for some. For those of us who are into the next season, by which I mean the skiing, snowboarding, and snow sports season, there could be a little bit of fear to go with that, too. Well, at least, there is in my case. 

In fact, to stick with the Fear/Halloween theme here, my season starts just one week before Halloween. With that in mind, it seems like this is the perfect time to talk about this.

For those that follow Ski Rex Media fairly closely, you know that it has been some time since I have actually been out on a hill. Part of the origin story of Ski Rex Media is that creating it was part of my getting back into skiing and making my grand return to the stage, which clearly I am going to be doing in two weeks' time. 

I have been very forthcoming and honest about how excited I am for that first trip out, and for more than one reason. But, I would be lying if I said that I'm not terrified by the thought of it. 

Your question could be, "Tim, how could you be terrified of getting back out on the mountain? It's not like you don't know how to ski."

I'll tell you why in this two-part answer.

I'm Not Sure I Do Know How To Ski Anymore

As I continue to write, that title for this section seems stupid, even to me. Yes, I have been skiing more times than I can count, I have skied many types of terrain and features that go along with that terrain, I have successfully taught others how to ski...so yes, at some point in my life I did know how to ski.

My worry here is that "It's just like riding a bike." won't hold true.

I have talked to and heard stories about those that have taken more than a few years off and have said that it really is just like riding a bike, that one really doesn't forget how to do it. It may take more than a few runs to get a real handle on skiing again, but it will happen.

Perhaps it's just a lack of confidence, but I'm just not convinced. While I have been back on a bike recently and rode it successfully, there is just some reason that I'm not sure about it going the same way when I get back onto skis. 

It reminds me of a story from a few years back when I stepped onto another piece of equipment and felt more than a little uncomfortable while riding it. I was hanging out with a friend and her two boys, both of whom participate in non-snow action sports. They had a skateboard with them and I decided to hop on it and roll around a little bit. It was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever returned to. I felt like I was going to fall off this thing the whole time. I had ridden skateboards before but getting on one after many years of not trying to ride one did not feel like riding a bike, as in, I didn't feel like I had ever touched one in the past.

Now, to add honesty to that little story, I was never a great skateboarder. I could hold my own on one, including bombing hills in my neighborhood, but still. It was never something I was super good at. However, as I said near the beginning of this, I was a decent enough skier. So, with that in mind, even though I didn't take to the skateboard after being off of it as well as I would have liked, that might have been because I wasn't that great on one in the first place. It's likely that it will be different for something I was good at.

But, I can't get past the thought and fear that it won't be. I can't get past the idea that as soon as I step onto the hill at Big Snow American Dream in two weeks that it's going to be a mess, that I won't be able to do it. 

Will It Be Embarrassing If I Can't Do It?

Though I do believe in everything that I have already written here, even I have to admit that it is more than likely that once I get a few runs in that my skills will come back, even if it's not all at once or quickly. It's more than likely that the idea of skiing being just like riding a bike will hold true. Shoot, even the example of riding the skateboard might have gone another way if I did it for more than just that little while I talked about in the story. 

Even with that said, however, I will still have to go through a period of getting back into it. Meaning, I will still have a little bit of time where I might look like a beginner. I really don't expect to just point my skis and bomb the first run I take. I say that knowing that my first run will be at Big Snow American Dream, which is likely to not be the most difficult run in the world. The question that one could now ask is, "Everyone has to be a beginner and there are beginners all over the hill. What's so embarrassing about that?"

Before I go much further, I should say that I don't get embarrassed easily. Also, if you're a fan of everything that comes out of Ski Rex Media, which you know includes video content and a live stream from time to time, you know that I don't mind a little attention here and there. Maybe even more than here or there. 

In this case, however, I'm already blushing a little at the fact that I might be throwing down a pizza more than french fries. Commonly not an issue for those who are just starting, except that I'm not just starting.

Again, it has been a long time since I have been out on the mountain, but I do, or at least I should know how to do all of the basics. I learned all of those basics back in 1991 and I moved beyond them accordingly. Though I don't expect to be up to par, I would like to think I could get down the hill with at least a little resemblance to the form I once had.

Now, should that be embarrassing anyway? Probably not, since everyone who is off their skis or snowboard for a long time likely has to go through this, too. It's not uncommon, everyone does it, so there is nothing to be embarrassed about, right? Well, embarrassment is a personal thing and it's different for everyone.

With that said, it really comes down to my own lack of confidence in my abilities returning. That's what I'm really afraid of, just getting out there and realizing that I can't do it anymore. That's something that I never wanted to happen. Sure, it was my choice to stay off skis for as long as I have, a choice I came to for more than a few reasons, most of which I rarely share publicly. But still, I always figured that I could return, take a run or two, and be right back into the game.

In the end, maybe it isn't all fear. It's likely that, though I am fearful because I don't know how well I will do and I'm self-conscious of what I will look like on the hill, that this is really just an extension of the self-disappointment I have for not sticking with skiing when I probably should have. The admittance of yet another bad choice that I have made in recent years. 

But, then again, it could just be me blowing a little nervousness, and nervousness would be expected from anyone who has been off the hill for a while, out of proportion and I'll be 100% just find while out on the hill. That's likely anyway since my first day out will be with two people that I have ridden with before. In that case, these thoughts were for nothing.

I don't know about you, but I think it will be interesting to see which way it goes.

Photo Created By Tim Meyer For Ski Rex Media Using: Extreme Environments - Groomed Snow - Richard Allaway [CC BY 2.0]


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