A new challenge

What happened when I learned to ski

What would you think if I told you that I went up a 3,500 meter tall mountain just to ski my way down? And what would you think if I told you that this was the second time in my life that I practiced this sport?

SO extreme! And the word extreme falls short.

This year, shortly after I turned 26, I decided to ski again—the first time I tried was last year—and it was one of the most intense and fulfilling experiences of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen so many times in one day, much less on snow (that trust me, is not as soft as it seems) and had to get up again as many times.

Did you know that there are 2,000 places in the world to ski? And that more than 400 million people practice this sport yearly?

And, although now I am one of those 400 million people, it had never occurred to me before to practice such a particular sport that involves such a deep contact with nature. Now, based on my experience I can assure you that learning when you’re younger is definitely easier than learning as an adult. Falling on your butt multiple times a day gets harder with age.

Having to learn something new from ground zero in conditions that are so different from the ones I’m used to and my motivation to succeed was what made this challenge such a significant and unforgettable experience.

I must also confess that I hadn’t been involved in a serious sport since I used to play volleyball in high school. Back then I loved the adrenaline, the need to make every move better, of competing with myself and being part of a team.

The truth is I can’t compare the feeling of winning a volleyball team with what I felt on those snowy mountains. The physical and mental effort, plus the sensation of being balanced on the skis surrounded by that white and pristine nature, was something I’ve never experienced before.

On my journey down the mountain I fell, I got up again and at times, I felt like I was flying. That journey changed something in me.

In this case it was an extreme sport, but it could have been learning a new language, moving countries or speaking in public. It doesn’t matter. The point is that I learnt something on the skis: to assume a challenge with full force and to give it your best can change you.

This experience made me feel alive. It made me realize how important it is to have a clear purpose and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to if I do it with passion, effort and discipline, regardless of how many times I fall. I understood that every time I face a challenge, I have to give it all I have to overcome it.

And not just with challenges, but in my daily life too. Every day can be a mountain to ski, even if you’ve never done it before. The important thing is how much effort you put into it.

It took me a couple of days to feel comfortable skiing and by the end I could do it gracefully, although I was clearly not a pro. My goal was to learn and to ski a full mountain. It was a competition with myself and I won.

That’s why today I challenge you to choose one thing, anything! And just go for it. Give it all you’ve got. Making a fool of yourself and falling is a part of the process. The only thing that matters is that you put your heart into it.

I decided to learn how to ski. What will you do?

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    David says:

    Qué bueno Paulina que hayas practicado el esquí. Aunque yo nunca he esquiado si me gusta un deporte extremo el mountain-bike o ciclomontañismo lo practico casi todos los días. Gracias a este deporte he subido montañas de hasta 3700 metros. Y me gusta mucho porque me hace exigirme al máximo y dar lo mejor de mi mismo. También a tomar riesgos y enfrentarlos con decisión y valentía A ser disciplinado a imponerme retos cada vez mayores y cumplirlos a caerme muchas veces y volver a levantarme aunque no se tengan muchas caídas me gusta mucho porque me pone en contacto con la naturaleza y cuando bajo o subo una montaña es como si estuviera volando. También por qué mejora mi estado físico y de ánimo.