Posts Tagged ‘ski’

I wrote in this earlier blog post how I overcame a whole load of fears and learnt to ski at the age of 49. Well, ever since then I have decide that there are certain things I am going to make myself do before I am too old to do them – my bucket list I guess. The main one on the list was to try something that the very thought of has always terrified me – to ride the zipline at Park City Mountain Resort. I had seen these things on TV and, since I’ve always had a fear of heights, thought that this would be a big no no. However, having overcome that fear to a degree whilst learning to ski I began to think maybe, just maybe I could do this.

I did, however, have a feeling that I might chicken out so I told my husband and girls that I was going to do it and to make doubly sure I arranged my August AuPair meeting at the resort so that some of my girls would do it too. Funnily enough, turns out most of them wouldn’t do it as they are just like I was at their age – over fearful but there were other things to enjoy at the resort so it made for a fun meeting.

Anyway – having husband, two daughters and my AuPairs there meant that there was now no way I could chicken out so I bought my ticket and Natalie from Austria and I decided to do it together (thanks Natalie – I love you!). By the time we reached the line at the top I was beginning to get nervous and as our turn came I was wondering if I could back out there but I just though ‘stop it!’ – you HAVE to go through with this. I was shaking as the guy strapped me into the harness and then he flipped the lever to let us go.

Well all I can say is WOW!!!!! It was an amazing rush from that first second. I loved every moment of it and Natalie and I are now planning on doing a longer, faster zipline at Utah Olympic Park. As an older Mum I am so proud of myself for doing this. My husband and daughters loved seeing me get such a rush from it and I feel I proved to my AuPair group that I’m not an old fuddy duddy at fifty :). I think the pics show how much I enjoyed it 😀

I finally feel at the age of fifty that I can do ANYTHING I choose to do. Tell me your stories of overcoming or facing up to fears. Or what’s on your bucket list? Do you have anything you feel inspired to just get on and do after reading this?

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We arrived in Utah, well Salt Lake City to be exact from my idea of paradise at the end of August 2008. From day one I hated it. I had severe culture shock although I completely skipped the honeymoon stage. I hated the schooling, the people, Salt Lake City, the lack of colour, the lack of beach, the lack of prettiness and gentle beauty. We moved up to sin city (Park City) in the mountains after 2 months in the misery of Salt Lake and met….. noone. Turns out people hibernate from socializing in winter and are too busy skiing and the like to meet up. Our kids started school and Chaz settled into his job and I just mourned the loss of my lovely life. Too be honest I was a complete nightmare about it all and a cow to live with.

I survived that first winter, made myself learn to ski and gradually started to meet people as spring appeared. I joined a book club and a coffee morning and started to settle in. However, I still blamed my husband for ‘making’ me move and spent more time hating everything than enjoying life.

However, a major turning point for me was chancing upon Wayne Dyer on TV. I vaguely remember that he was talking about his book Excuses Begone and I remember him doing a simple demonstration with a closed fist and an open palm – I think! I wasn’t even paying full attention but something stuck and I realized that changing this stinking thinking of mine was the only way out of this.

From that very moment I started to almost ‘act as if’ I was happy. I put a big smile on my face when my hubby came home every day, every time I started to blame him for our move I turned it around to say that he was trying to do the best for our family (which is, of course, the truth), I started to see the good in the place and the people and had a constant inner voice telling me to not listen to the negative thoughts. Do you know what – it gradually worked. Not only that but I started to use this approach to everything – I now choose to be happy. That’s not to say I don’t have the odd moment and I can spit feathers at times as I’m a little feisty on occasion ;). However, I have learnt that I can change the way I look at things and that, indeed, the things I’m looking at then change.

How do you deal with the negatives? Are there any specific inspirational people or sayings that have helped you to change the way you look at things? Do you think messages often appear when you need them?

Me - second from left with friends and my daughters

So, our second winter in Utah I decided to try and improve at skiing as much as possible and bought season passes for the whole family. After all us older mums have to keep up with our kids and my kids were getting really good at skiing. After my first few times out I was bored stiff with the one and only green slope and decided to take myself off down an easy blue. I called my hubby, who was elsewhere on the mountain with a friend of ours, and told him I was going to give it a try and he wanted to come and help me. I told him I wanted no pressure and would rather try alone – I always hate the feeling that I’m holding anyone back and would much rather fail alone than have someone ‘help’ me. I felt sick to my stomach as I rode up the chairlift and felt my legs turn to jelly as we approached the top. Well, it took a while (erm ages) to get down the run and I fell down a more than a few times but I DID IT!!!

There was no looking back then.

  • I took another lesson and spent the rest of the winter gradually improving.
  • read skiing books
  • I watched learn to ski videos by Lasse Lyck on youtube over and over (I always throw myself into things whole heartedly when I decide to do something).
  • I joined a ski forum for women and read and reread hints and tips and asked questions.


I think I skiied around 40 times in total; sometimes alone, sometimes skiing with the children and Chaz (though he snowboards) and sometimes with friends.

By the end of winter, I was tackling some quite difficult blues and going all over the mountain and had whole days where I didn’t fall over once! I even tackled DEEP powder when we had some late big snowfalls. Amazing what mileage will do. I must say I’m quite chuffed with myself for overcoming my fears and I’ve had a few ‘break through’ moments where I get the wind in my hair, it all feels good and I shout ‘I CAN SKI!!!” with a big grin on my face and my kids are very proud of their mum! Learning to ski has given me a sense that I could do anything now (well enclosed spaces might still be an issue – LOL) and I’m even thinking of doing a zipline this summer with my AuPairs. I now look back at those years where I was full of fear and refused to try and ‘do’ things and wonder who that woman was.

Have you ever had any break through moments that have helped you to change how you see yourself?