Girl Skis Naked
Last week I dropped into SLC for a quick ski trip with my husband. We rolled out of bed at 4 am to catch the 6am flight out of Sioux Falls, connected through Denver and hit the slopes by 11am MST.
After drinking one tiny airplane cup of water and one coffee over the course of 6 hours, I took a couple of runs, ate a quick lunch, chugged a beer and decided to take a ski lesson (think mega dehydration).
I joined the Beyond the Blues ski lesson class, the highest level of the intermediate options after being convinced that was the appropriate level for me.
I really wanted to do the level just below because the name "beyond the blues" really means "you will ski black runs in this group class" and black diamonds still intimidate me.
My instructor Arthur, fellow classmates Charlotte, Buck and I got started without incident. 2 hours into our lesson we started to do a bit of ungroomed powder skiing and my legs hurt so bad I HAD to stop for a quick rest.
Except I ended up falling into a heap of a mess. Charlotte and Buck had to dig me and my skis out of the snow and help me back to my feet. #embarrassing
I had been awake 12 hours, flown across the country, skied in the morning and had now passed the two-hour mark of this ski lesson. I was wildly dehydrated, physically exhausted and trying REALLY hard to learn new skills.
I was also skiing slowly and everyone had to wait on me. The overwhelm crept up slowly till all the sudden I felt completely defeated. I scooted my way up to the group and said: "I'm done".
What I really meant to say was "I'm overwhelmed, exhausted, I feel like I suck and I can tell that I'm going to cry now so bear with me till I feel my feelings and then I'll be ok".
I've long since stopped trying to resist my emotions even if they make people uncomfortable or are situationally inconvenient but it still makes me feel vulnerable.
I cried. I got it together. Everyone was very understanding. They all gave me encouraging hugs. I skied a black run.
I realized later that telling them "I'm overwhelmed, exhausted, I feel like I suck and I can tell that I'm going to cry now so bear with me till I feel my feelings and then I'll be ok" felt like stripping my clothes off and standing before them buck naked.
After exploring this for some time I've realized this phenomenon has a lot to do with a general lack of comfort with owning our limitations, struggles, vulnerabilities and asking for what we actually need.
If it became commonplace to say what we actually feel and ask for what we actually need.....none of us would be as uncomfortable.
When was the last time you felt naked in the way I am describing and wanted to run away before you had to admit your vulnerability? Have you had a recent win with sticking it out, feeling the feels and surviving?