Every time I go on ski holiday, I spend a portion of my trip in tears. I love the majesty of the mountains, the après ski scene, and the abundance of alpine food. But the truth is… skiing scares the crap out of me! I learned this sport later in life (at age 27) and I only go once a year, so my skills and confidence are, well… lacking. I don’t have that perfect hip swivel or parallel stance. Or that fearlessness when facing somewhere steep. These insecurities almost always sent me into a waterworks moment on the mountain.
However, on my last trip to Méribel, France, I glided down the greens, managed through a few icy blues, and tackled a tree-laden hill en route to a hidden chalet restaurant for bookings only. On this trip there were certainly challenges, but this time no tears. I skied with peace.
Why? Because a daily meditation practice had become a part of my lifestyle, allowing me to mindfully ski and enjoy the mountain (an almost cliché, but apropos, metaphor for life).
Instead of focusing on the mountain's mammoth size and its pitfalls, as well as my what-if-I-fall thoughts pervading my head, I turned my attention inwards on my body’s movements – the shifting of my weight and flowing of my breath. I looked at my body's form and found a rhythm in its actions. Inhaling and exhaling, I stayed present in my skiing. And suddenly, the slopes were a lot less scary and I actually enjoyed the ride, finding true peace on the piste.