My eight year old recently asked if I would teach him to ski. I felt nervous. I was never an avid skier and the last time I went was thirteen years ago. I always wanted to love skiing but I didn’t. The chair lift scared me and the boots really hurt my calves. Skiing was more stressful and uncomfortable than it was fun for me.
So, fast forward to a few weeks ago, at the mountain with my son and, once again, feeling nervous. I wanted to enjoy it but I was actually dreading it. I was bracing myself for a day of stress and pain, BUT this time it was different… I was different.
When I got my boots at the rental place, I spoke up and let them know that they hurt me. Not just slightly snug and uncomfortable, but truly toe-numbingly painful. In the past I would never speak up. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know I was uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to go through trouble for me, and I would have figured that it was something wrong with me (in this case, my calves were too big). But I did speak up and I was surprised and delighted to find there was a solution. They have longer straps for people with “athletic calves” and they fit (no pain!). The second thing that happened was that I confided in my friend who was with us that I was nervous to take the chairlift (especially with my son, who had never skied before). She told me to ask them to slow down the lift. WHAT?? I’d never known this was an option. It was so much easier to get on and off and the operators even helped us. My son and I had an amazing bonding experience and we truly enjoyed the adventure together. Instead of struggling and suffering I had a wonderful day. So much so that this past weekend I felt brave enough to take both kids skiing with me.
So what was my big learning? I am reminded that I am not expected to know everything and also, how crucial it is to speak up, ask for help and receive support. Simple enough right? But honestly, how often do you NOT speak up or ask for help because you feel like you should be able to figure it out on your own?
Is there an area where you feel nervous or unsure of yourself? Where could you use some extra support? Please join me on my FB page and share. Maybe you’ll even receive the support you need there!