No one cares that I tele. No one cares that you tele. I’ve seen the bumper sticker and I know that it is talking directly to me. Oh well. Sorry. Whether you care or not, I am going to write about tele today.
Now, I am not going to rhapsodize on the various advantages of tele over alpine or the relative “cool” versus “not cool” factors of tele versus alpine. I am also not going to tell you that I am a great tele skier. I am a complete novice who just got gear this past season and while I can passably tele on intermediate runs with small moguls, I quickly revert to alpine turns when the going gets tough. At heart, I’m an alpine girl. But, right now, my soul belongs to tele.
I had wanted to tele since I was about 14 and noticed skiers making telemark turns at Crested Butte. I thought that telemark skiing looked incredibly graceful. Several decades later, I finally got the gear. What took me so long? Pride, ego and fear. And these three emotions, not telemark skiing, are actually my topics for today.
Pride, ego and fear. This trifecta of emotions holds me back in many areas of my life. Pride prevents me from wanting to look stupid. Ego prevents me from wanting to admit that I don’t know how to do something. Fear prevents me from overriding pride and ego. Now, my mother might say that fear is healthy because it keeps me from doing stupid, dangerous things. And, she might have a point. Especially since I became a mother, I have seen an increase in fear in my life. I am much less aggressive on a mountain bike, because I’m thinking, “darn, if I wipe out here and break my arm, who is going to make dinner?” I have no interest in rock-climbing or high-altitude mountaineering now that I’m a mother. I have short people depending on me and I have to be there for them.
Hobbled by pride, ego and fear, I played it safe telling myself “You don’t need to tele. You’ve spent 40 years to get where you are on Alpine gear, why would you want to start over?” and “How many pairs of skis do you actually need? The garage is already full of gear.” I knew I wanted to tele. I had known for years actually, as evidenced by the feelings of jealously that would arise whenever I’d see a mom about my age wearing sky-blue Scarpa boots. But I kept these feelings tamped down.
Finally, having reached age 43, I listened to Warren Miller (the master of quotable ski quotes), “if you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” Yep, that was enough to scare me out of my pride, ego and fear. Because who wants to go through life wishing they’d done something, wishing they’d tried something, wishing they’d been something. I didn’t want to wake up one day in the future and say, “Wow, I always wanted to try tele and now I’m really too old and overwhelmed to do it.” So I did it. And I love it and I’m really glad I did it, even if no one cares but me.
I’m sure some of you are much more bold than me and are thinking “why in the world did she wait so long?”. You’re much more adventurous than me. And some of you, I’m sure are never held back by pride, ego or fear. But I think that most of us are. Most of us have something we’ve always wanted to try, but always put off. Starting a business, writing a blog, throwing pottery, telemark skiing, playing an instrument, or learning a language. We all have our dreams. We all have our goals. Pick one. Do it. No one cares – except you. And you are the only one who matters.
© 2010, braveskimom. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.