Sometimes the most challenging moments are small steps toward our bigger aspirations.
Like the small but ridiculously difficult step of exiting the lift chair on the ski slopes.
Last week at my church group, I was talking to my friends Jen and Jay about flag football and how the new season starts soon, and Jay asked me what I was doing Saturday.
Me (thinking he was equally as excited about football): “Nothing. Want to practice??”
Jay (clearly not concerned with football): “You want to come snowboarding with us?”
Me (thinking about how I’m not a huge fan of snow and how I should probably work on some freelance work I needed to do over the weekend and then thinking that I shouldn’t think so much): “Absolutely, I do.”
Like Jan once told Pam in The Office, “there are always a million reasons not to do something.” But, like Jan also said without actually saying it, sometimes you have to ignore all of those reasons.
As soon as I hopped in the car Saturday morning for the two-hour drive with my new friends, I knew that I’d made a good decision. I was actually excited to snowboard, even though it had been 12 years or so, and Jen and Jay are two of the kindest and most fun people you’ll meet (and I do hope that you meet them), so I was looking forward to a fun adventure with them. Even though I was totally third wheeling it, they didn’t make me feel like I’m a third wheel at all. They’re very welcoming, and Jen even let me borrow a bunch of snowboarding gear because, well, I didn’t need much of that in Texas. Ever.
I had such a blast snowboarding—and I didn’t even feel that rusty. One part that always stresses me out, though, is getting off the lifts. Only one of your feet is strapped in when you do, and I just feel so out of control. I don’t fall much when I’m boarding down the mountain, but I usually count on falling when getting off the lifts.
And I typically don’t disappoint—I think there was only one time I didn’t fall Saturday when dismounting that freaking lift.
But, whether I like it or not, getting off the lifts is part of the snowboarding process. You have to get to the top of the mountain somehow, and the lift is the most sensible option. And you can’t sit on the lift forever if you actually want to board.
I think that’s sometimes how many of the big steps we take start—with things that should be so simple but often seem scary. But you have to take that small first step before you can get to that next bigger adventure. Sure, you might fall, but getting back up is actually a lot easier than some people think. Here’s what happens: You fall. It hurts your pride (and maybe your a$* or other body parts). Then, you get back up, and you keep going. Some falls are worse than others. Get back up, anyway.
I’m single. We all know that. It can be tough sometimes, but I never want the fact that I don’t have a guy who loves me forever by my side to keep me from doing any of the things I want to do or from enjoying any part of anything I do. I think it’s important never to be afraid to be the individual you are. If you’re single, I hope that you have people in your life who make you forget the feeling of being alone. If you’re not, I hope that you welcome the single people with open arms. And I hope that we all take the chances that we might be afraid to take—including the seemingly small ones.
Even if you end up face planting while getting off the lift.