Friday, January 31, 2014

Facing Fears

Last weekend, Brian and I talked my mom and sisters into going skiing with us. My fifteen-year-old sister had been a handful of times. My youngest sister had never been. My mom went once when she was in high school. We decided going for just half the day would be a wise plan.

It's funny how different my sisters are. Lexi is fearless. She rarely thinks about the consequences of her actions, she just acts on passion and willpower. It's something that more often than not gets her in trouble, but I also think it's a gift. I'm jealous that she can try things without being intimidated by fear. Even though she's only been skiing a few times, you would never guess it. She always wants to go on a harder run, she always goes faster than the rest of us, and she's the first to laugh at anyone who falls down.

Then there is Chloe. Chloe is sweet and careful about many things. She's shy around new people, she can get her feelings hurt easily, and the last thing she ever wants to do is hurt someone else's feelings. She is also very timid when it comes to trying new things. Even though she didn't straight out say it (remember, she probably didn't want to hurt our feelings), Chloe did not want to be on the mountain that day with skis strapped to her feet.

As we approached the ski lift for our first run of the day, I let the cool breeze whip at my bare cheeks and I took in the site of tall white cliffs that wore piercing evergreen trees as accessories. I hadn't been skiing since I was 13. In the past few years, I'd tried getting into snowboarding, although I wasn't that good. Brian and I decided after years of snowboarding, we should give skiing a go. I was sure I would be fine transitioning to skiing, but I was still a bit nervous. I could feel the fear burning in the pit of my stomach as our turn to get on the lift got closer and closer. I was afraid . . . but I'd never admit it. I'm somewhere in between my two sisters. I'm the one who often acts brave but the pace of my heartbeat would tell otherwise.

I looked down at Chloe and saw that her eyes were brimming with tears. I asked her if she was okay.

"I don't want to get on the lift! I'm afraid of heights," she cried.

My mom comforted her while I tried to be all profound and said, "It's okay, Chlo. It's good to do things that scare us."

We persuaded Chloe to get on the lift. She kept her eyes closed the whole time. On our first run down, Chloe picked up speed and couldn't stop. She sat down and Brian skied down the mountain with all his might, trying to catch her. After some coaching from Brian, Chlo figured out the magical slowing down power of plowing. We went on a few more runs. Chloe looked more confident. She was no longer afraid. I even thought she was maybe enjoying herself.

When we reached the end of the day with only a few minutes left until the lifts would close, we decided to head in to the lodge and return our ski rentals.

Chloe tugged on my glove and said with excitement, "Will you go one last time with me?"

I was thrilled to hear her ask. We hurried for the lift (she still closed her eyes) and took one last ride. She looked so graceful and had a perfect run. On the car ride back home, Chloe kept asking my mom when they could go skiing again.

Oh, and you never would have guessed it was only my mom's second time skiing. She only fell once, and that one time occurred because she decided to run over me. So yeah, we both crashed pretty good on that one. Then she just sprawled out on the snow and laughed. I couldn't get too mad at her for the whole incident ;).    

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