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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Skiing For The First Time


 I went downhill skiing for the first time in my life.  I’ll be 48 in February.  It’s never too late to learn new tricks.
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My family likes to ski, even my soon-to-be seven-year-old daughter.  She’s gone three times and loves it.  My son, three years her senior, can do the level of slope my wife can do.  I was just happy to work my way to the top of the bunny slope.

The only other time I wore skis was to go cross-country skiing.  I must have been around 20-21, I liked it, but hadn’t been back since.  I never saw myself skiing as I have a back that sometimes flares up.  It used to be worse.  But I just didn’t see a reason to risk my body, though it looks like fun.

Then my wife said she was planning a winter break trip with the kids to go skiing and I thought I should try it one of these days.  I wanted to watch them ski, be there to support them, and give it a shot.  I was a bit nervous leading up to it.

The day before we went skiing in the Berkshires we went snow tubing. My brave daughter who thinks nothing of skiing is terrified of tubing.  I love it.

I tried to convince my sobbing daughter to try tubing but she scampered off, unexplainably scared.  My son asked her what she was afraid of exactly but she couldn’t express what it was.  I understood what it felt like to be fearful without being able to pin down or convey the heart of the problem.  I experienced it the next day when it was my turn to be challenged and try to ski.

I got a beginner’s lesson along with a 15-year-old girl who had never been on a slope.  At the end of the 90-minute lesson my instructor told me not to go beyond the portion of the bunny hill I was flopping around in.  I proved him wrong.  By day’s end I made it down the entire hill.  But I almost didn’t get there, if not for my son.

After practicing on smaller portions of the slope I was coaxed by him to take the lift up to the top.  I fell getting off of it.  Then I began to go down the slope and went off to the side of it, toppling over on the grass.  I had trouble steering and stopping.  I felt like the back-up stuntman.  I got up and got down most of the hill but realizing I lacked the ability to stop, I fell to the side so I don’t bowl anyone down.  I yelled out “That’s my version of pizza.”

All I hear is the instruction “pizza” for stopping.  It’s the shape your skis make for stopping your forward progress.  Somehow, it wasn’t working for me.

On my final attempt to get down the junior slope unscathed, my son talked me out of quitting. I wanted to remove my skis and just walk down.  He barked that I can’t give up.  He was right.

I mustered up the courage to go downhill knowing I had no brakes.  I managed to slow myself down as I got close to the bottom and then gently turned to safety.  I did it!  I finished on a high note.  I was able to do what my little daughter had done – no small feat for either of us.  She will surpass me next time out, but for me, it was a victory to leave without a broken leg, bruised back, or injured ego.

My book marketing and author lesson is simple: Keep trying and don’t give up.  We all work at our own pace.  It is never too late to try something new and you can always see improvement from where you start.  But watch out on the bunny hill for me – I might just crash into you!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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