I grew up in the tropics – warm sun, monsoons, and tantalizing aromas of fruits and flowers. I walked and danced barefoot. Putting on [downhill] ski boots a couple of years ago, felt so foreign and binding that I decided never to ski again.
A friend of mine, an avid skier, moved to Tahoe recently, and invited me up for the weekend. The weather forecast – fresh powder, clear skies and 35 ºF. Good ski conditions, especially for a beginner. “Dress in layers”, he said, along with other tips on how to make my first X-country ski experience more rewarding than my miserable downhill one at the resort.
His house borders the Tahoe National Forest, and we literally skied out of his house, through the forest, past an enormous meadow, to the southern shores of Lake Tahoe. There were no people, or tracks. The snow was soft, gleaming, and – waiting!
I fell – many times.
At first, my only thought was to get back upright. But as I got used to falling, I laughed, rolled around in the snow, made snowballs, and sometimes, just lay there, exhausted, looking up at the gorgeous, limitless sky.
“See? I told you there is nothing better than falling on powder!” He was right.
He wrote me since to let me know that many people had been using our tracks. They were taking advantage of our hard work – they were following our tracks.
I thought, as I am struggling with wanting to make it outside of the 9-5 race, “Thats right! Life is like tracking virgin snow!”
You work harder to break the snow, but you print your unique signature. No one can take that away, except another big snowstorm – and you start all over. Over time, you get stronger, and better at it. (I hope!)
And when you don’t feel strong – you ride on someone else’s tracks, some one else’s hard work! Leading, falling or following – there is no pride, there is no shame. The key is to make it fun – just like falling into the cradle of virgin snow!