On Wednesday, I decided to try something new: downhill skiing.
A little background story for you: my youth group goes to the ski hill a few times every winter, and my older brother usually goes, but I had never gone before. This time I decided that I wanted to go too (even though I had never skied/snowboarded before).
My dad said that when I saw the hill I wouldn't wanna go down because it would look scary. When I got there I actually wasn't so nervous about the height. It wasn't as scary looking as I had expected. I figured I'd be able to do it just fine.
(Just clearing this up: I am NOT athletic. Okay, moving on.)
When I got off the ski lift, I fell. And I could not stand back up by myself. I was on the ground for five minutes. Pretty impressive, huh? (just kidding.)
I started to get nervous. I didn't know to stop except to throw myself on the ground. And I would always start going fast on my skis (LIKE, REALLY FAST), and so I would freak out and throw myself on the ground. And then I had trouble getting up.
After a few times wiping out and getting up, the pain started to set in. ARRRGGGGHHHH. By then I was almost ready to cry.
To put it simply, my first time down the hill was a nightmare. I didn't start crying, thankfully, but I messed up everything that I was taught and fell down so many times that I was sore and sweating like crazy. Halfway down the run, I was practically shaking. I cannot do this, I thought. I seriously doubted my abilities of getting down without breaking something.
When I finally made it down, I was exhausted and thirsty and weary. And I wasn't sure if I wanted to go down again. I was disappointed in quitting, that was NOT what I wanted to do, but I was in so much pain that I didn't know if I could follow through.
As I sat there in the lodge, listening to I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons playing on the radio, and contemplating what to do.
Well, OF COURSE I had to go down again.
This time I was accompanied by my friend's mom (who also helps at youth group and is an awesome skier/musician/teacher). That time went a whole lot better. I learned how to stop (very helpful). I learned how to turn (also very helpful.) Still I fell though, and at one point I wiped out and it took a few minutes of effort to get my skis back on and at that point I was shaking. Even as I started to get better, I figured I wouldn't go down again. Two runs is enough, I thought.
Through all those falls, there was one thing that kept me going. Lying there on the hill I remembered a quote that I had once seen on Tumblr.
"Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
Every time I fell, no matter how painful it was, I would whisper to myself, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight." To the point where I had already fallen down waaay more than 7 times.
I changed my mind when I got to the bottom of the hill. I was going a third time.
The fourth and final time I went, I kept count. "Fall down seven times, stand up eight." I said as I got up and headed down again. "Fall down nine times, stand up ten." "Fall down thirteen times, stand up fourteen."
When I got to the bottom, the final count was:
"Fell down 17 times. Stood up 18."
Perseverance won out, and I stood at the base of the hill, arms stretched to the sky. And I am by no means an amazing skier, but I am now a decent one. Two days later, I'm still paying for it in soreness, but it was worth it.
So let's talk. You're chasing a dream, right? Everyone has this one big impossible dream that they don't wanna give up on but it just seems hopeless. I've got one. We all do.
While we were in the ski lIft, my instructor said something very smart to me... "There are some things in life that you pick up really quickly, and there are other things that take more time and effort."
So. You've got this dream. And you wanna make it happen. I'm telling you, that if you work for it, you WILL make it happen. And it's not going to be easy work - it'll be hard, maybe painful, maybe the keep-you-up-at-night kind of work. But it's going to be worth it. And when you fall down, stand up again. No matter how may times. I can tell you, you will find all your dreams accomplished.
Happiest of weekends to you all. :)