a whole new world

I've had something of an awakening, my husband and I , both non skiers recently took our sons to Austria on a ski holiday, as barmy as that sounds, they love skiing and we wanted to treat them, they're such good boys. Anyway we booked it in the full knowledge that they would ski and we would spend the day times going for snowy walks and indulging at the spa, relaxing with massages and facials and swimming. But while booking the boys ski passes my hubs decided to buy the walkers passes, which entitles you to one ski lift ride a day and unlimited access to the ski bus.

I was bit taken aback, there seemed very little point in this as I had no intention of going any where near any form of ski lift! Let me explain, I have a long standing history of mini freak outs (to the point of mild phobia) on many planes, cable cars, fairground and theme park rides. How my boys haven't inherited a fear of such things is beyond me, just shows you how strong the non scaredy genes are I guess. 

I have had a fair few melt downs, shamefully in their presence, one notable incident occurred on the chair lift at Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight, a quaint seaside installation that saw the air turn blue as I rode to the top! How I wasn't escorted off the premises I will never know. Another unfortunate incident happened at a Theme Park, I had a horrible panic whilst using the cable car to get from one side of the park to another (its not even a ride, just an apparently genteel mode of transport across a deep valley) I felt the "hole" in the floor was incredibly dangerous and totally irresponsible, I was insisting it be dealt with immediately....there is NO such hole, just my overly active imagination and an irrational fear of heights and flights!

So imagine my utter surprise when I not only agreed to go on the cable car in Austria up to the top of the mountain, I actually went through with it! I can't say it was a pleasurable journey to the top, it was absolutely horrendous in fact but lets face it I was committed by the time I realized it wasn't a good idea, there was no turning back!

The views from the top have become a metaphor for giving stuff a go, pushing myself on, even if its scary. Fear itself isn't a bad thing, its a built in safety valve to protect us, but irrational fear of perfectly safe things is a cage that holds us back from experiencing beautiful , wonderful things, like watching my boys launch themselves down the mountain and skiing joyfully to the bottom, that was indescribable, so proud of them for being so adventurous and proud of myself for getting up there to see it.

Five years ago I somewhat conquered my long standing fear of flying by surviving advanced stage cancer, the fear of flying dissipated and paled into insignificance after all Sam and I  had to go through to survive (my son Sam, who was 13 at the time was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer 6 months before me, his was a totally unconnected cancer to mine, just two random lightening strikes). I'm still no fan of flying by any means, I still break out into a cold sweat every time. But the amazing places I have been since I was lucky enough to have survived have more than made up for stress involved. 

I can't in all honesty say I'm cured of my fear of cable cars, the journeys up and down were pretty awful. But every day I went to the top of a new mountain! Every day I was rewarded with the view from the top of the world. We all have our mountain's to climb in life, just my mountain was an actual mountain.

One of the most amazing things to have come out of it, apart from the sheer and utter bliss of eating apple strudel and custard 2020 meters in the sky is that I'm going to learn to ski! There seemed little point in learning before as I couldn't get up the mountain to ski down it but now I'm pretty confident that when I go back next year (already booked!) I can 'merrily' get to the top!

Feel the fear but do it anyway! 

Life isn't always easy, So I wish you well climbing your own mountains. xx 

A very relaxed and happy me going up the mountain, this was day 3. 

Coat and hat - Moncler.  Salopettes - my son's hand me ups!

The rich rewards of overcoming my fears, Apple strudel and custard and gallons of hot chocolate!

I can't see having a stoma is going to cause any trouble learning to ski, just think I might even be able to add it to my sports blog next year!