Yesterday, I returned from a week in Colorado, where I was skiing with my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and their three children. We enjoyed the snow in many different ways—skiing, snowmobiling, snow-tubing, and snowshoeing. It was a wonderful week of play!
While I was skiing, I was thinking of how our fears seem to deepen and widen as we get older. Things that didn’t scare us when we were younger sometimes paralyze us now. While we were skiing, my nieces and nephew didn’t allow their fear to hold them back. They followed us through the trees, over jumps, and down some mogul fields, all without a peep. It made me think of this poem that I learned in high school.
Come to the edge.
It was a good reminder for me to take action and do something that is a little scary every once in awhile. I ask you to do the same. Our fears are often about perception, and have nothing to do with reality. Go to your edge, push yourself off, and see if you can fly.
Yesterday, I finished listening to Martha Beck’s memoir, Expecting Adam, and can’t get this one part out of my head. (Unfortunately, since I was listening to it, I can’t quote it exactly).
She described a day when she was running along the Charles River and spotted a pink object in the grass. Thinking back to her younger days, she remembered searching for Rose Quartz, and was excited to find a piece of it lying randomly in the grass. When she picked it up, though, it was too light to be Rose Quartz, and she discovered it was “just” pink Styrofoam. She immediately threw it to the ground in disgust. When she thought it was a piece of Rose Quartz she felt wonderful and energized by it, but as soon as she discovered what it really was, her experience turned negative. The object itself hadn’t changed one bit, but her perspective and label of it had.
Growing up a competitive athlete, and continuing on that path throughout adulthood, I have always had a rather restrictive view of what constitutes a sport or athletic endeavor. Yoga was one of those things that I was intrigued by, but also cautious of. Sometimes my need to be perfect overshadows my desire to try new things. Usually, with things involving my body or athleticism, I do pretty well straight out of the gate. I knew that yoga was not going to be one of them. Besides, I thought, “Yoga isn’t a sport—no one wins or loses.” Because of this judgmental mindset I never really gave it a chance—until this fall.