In an effort to stay focused on how I want to feel, I’m tinkering with writing about my experiences throughout the year as mini-series’ that fall under each of my 4 desired feelings.
As I start to explore BOUNDLESS ADVENTURE a little more, I’m piecing together what adventure actually means to me. When I first wrote the words down and felt the warmth and excitement they brought to me, adventure meant one thing – TRAVEL. It was a commitment to myself to satiate the extreme wanderlust that has been bubbling up inside of me for a long time. I had no idea my first real ‘adventure’ of the year would bring a different meaning to that.
I’ve talked previously about my Life List. It’s a list comprising of 100+ things I want to do, experience, feel, see, and commit to and so much more. It’s part bucket list, part to-do list. I review it, update it, cross things off of it and re-write it often.
Last weekend, I got to cross off item number 27: Snowboard in Whistler.
Whistler, BC is a magnificent, mysterious and adventurous place. It is consistently voted the #1 ski resort in North America and sits just under 2 hours away from my front door (depending on traffic). I hate admitting this but last weekend was my first time on the mountain, or any mountain in BC, for winter activities – WTF!?
Since moving here, I have wanted to really experience the lifestyle and take advantage of what British Columbia has to offer. People who live here know what I mean by lifestyle; it means getting onto the mountains, exploring the lakes and riding the ocean waves. Here you are either ‘outdoorsy’ or not doing it right. Somewhere along the way, I’ve made excuses and haven’t done all the things I set out to do. I’ve held back.
Work presented an opportunity by taking us on a Whistler retreat, inclusive of a day of meetings and a day of Whistler-related fun. I decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It was time to strap my board back on after 6-7+ years. I was, by no means, an avid snowboard. I’m somewhat self-taught but can get myself from the top of the hill to the bottom. I have stubbornness, determination and the extreme dislike for being bad at things working in my favour.
On Saturday morning, as I was gearing up to head up the mountain, I noticed there was something weird going on. I was getting increasingly anxious, and my mind started swirling. My inner doubt started throwing new ideas at me like: “I don’t want to do this”, “I should have went to the spa”, “I’m too hungover”, “I’m going to hurt myself” and “It’s not too late to change my mind”. Argh!
I was clever enough to recognize that this was fear. I was standing right on the cusp of my comfort zone and I was trying to rationalize not going. I don’t know if it was my inner will and determination or the child who wasn’t a day over 2 years old in line for the gondola with his snowboard and dad in tow that pushed me passed the doubt, but I went up anyways.
I was rusty, and nervous. I fell (a lot) but got back up. And you know something – It was friggin’ awesome!
Funny thing is, people think it’s the fear of falling and getting hurt that holds us back from activities like this. I finally let a co-worker in on what it was for me – the chairlift terrifies the hell out of me. Lame, right?! I’m actually really afraid of heights and that has stopped me from exploring the snow-filled mountains for the last 3.5 years. It’s the act of getting on and off the chairlift. Of being suspended in the air, held up only by, in my opinion, thin wire cables. Of falling and making a total ass out of myself.
In the end, I’m so glad I went. And once my tailbone isn’t sore anymore, am looking forward to heading back up. I walked into après ski like I earned every sip of that cider, and the three ciders after that. I got to cross off a Life List item and put check mark number one under BOUNDLESS ADVENTURE for the year.
In the end, BOUNDLESS ADVENTURE is starting to take on a meaning of more than just travel, which I had initially intended. This year, my adventures are going to be about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, facing fears and not shying away from things that make me feel uneasy. And heck, if I can sprinkle some good old-fashioned travel in on top of that – BRING ON THE ADVENTURE!
Cover Photo credit: SurangaSL / Shutterstock.com