I’ve begun to wonder whether we actually choose our goals, or they choose us. A few years ago I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic about living a creative life, and she talks about how ideas find a person to be expressed through, and I’m beginning to think the same of goals.
If you’d asked me at the beginning of 2018 what my goals for the year were, learning to snowboard was not one of them. Yet here I am learning to snowboard. Why? We’ve been invited to join Paul’s sister and family for Christmas in the French Alps where they go skiing for their winter holiday. Of course we said, ‘Yes we’d love to come!’ After a short discussion, Paul and I agreed that we should learn to ski or snowboard before going there to make the most of the holiday, and since I’d done a bit of skiing before we thought it would be fun to learn to snowboard together since it was something completely new for us both. Because we’re both quite impulsive, we went out and bought the gear we needed so there was no backing out – we were committed.
I had no idea what I was in for! My first day on the mountain was spent in lessons for 4 hours, and most of that time was either on my butt, or sprawled out face down in the snow. Thank goodness we listened to the good advice of my children to wear a helmet and wrist guards! For a few days afterwards, I felt completely broken – sore and bruised all over. It was not going to be an easy achievement.
I realised there were going to be a number of smaller goals to work on to help me to be able to snowboard competently down beginner/intermediate level slopes. Even though I think I’m pretty fit and strong, I enlisted the help of an exercise consultant to help me build up the right muscles for snowboarding. I started attending yoga classes again to become more flexible especially through the hips and back. And I want to get rid of some belly fat so I can fit more comfortably into my snow clothing. I’ve also had to reassess my budget, and direct funds into paying for lift passes and petrol for trips to the snow. And I have to face my fears and overcome my self doubts. Learning to snowboard is challenging me on every level – physically, mentally and emotionally. It requires total focus and concentration, balance and control, and the ability to surrender and flow with the mountain tracks.
I can understand why this goal has chosen me. It’s pushing me far outside of my comfort zone. It’s not easy; I have to get stronger, and more focussed. I don’t know yet if it’s achievable – it still scares me even after three days of trying. It hurts – each time I’ve had a day on the snow, I’ve come home feeling smashed. But I have a goal to have fun snowboarding in the French Alps over Christmas, so I’ll keep trying …
What big scary goal has chosen you? And are you working on it or avoiding it? Please post your comments below.