Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reaching New Heights... Anxiously

It wouldn't be fair if I didn't back track a bit and mention my recent trip to Colorado. I went to visit one of my best friends, Sara, in Denver. We have been friends since I walked into my new school in 3rd grade and was greeted by a smiling girl with big brown eyes and pigtails. Anyhow, I have been telling Sara that I would make it out there to see her in Colorado for the last 5 years. Well, I already mentioned that I procrastinate so it follows that Sara is moving in the next few months and if I didn't get out there soon, she would no longer be living in Colorado. So Sara and I planned a trip for me to come to Denver and then we would head up to Keystone Ski Resort in the Rockies. Poor Sara, did I mention that I have always been a bit of a hypochondriac and anxiety ridden person? (When it comes to certain things... like driving over the Bay Bridge.) Did I also mention that I have a fear of heights? I was so stressed about the idea of riding the ski lift, my stomach was tied in knots. My friends don't get this because I have been known to zipline in Costa Rica at 600 feet. But hey, you are harnessed in. They don't have seat belts on ski lifts and that makes all the difference psychologically. Anyway, I bugged Sara constantly about how she was going to have to talk me through the ski lift and listen to my yoga breathing. I bugged her with a million questions about how to offset the altitude sickness that was impending. I was so sure I would have to be helicoptered off the mountain because, afterall, after 10,000 feet what is the difference between Keystone and Everest? I also pleaded with her not to take me on anything too steep. I already broke my arm once a long time ago and I threatened her constantly with the idea of my chiropractic career being over with just one steep slope. Anyway, to make a long story short... I got to Denver, hung out with Sara for two days (which I am convinced was the perfect acclimation time) and headed up to Keystone with no problem whatsoever. I hated the ski lift but I did it. The greatest thing was that I took a ski lesson, had no problem, and skied a 3 mile run the next day. I never fell once. As my instructor said, pizza and french fries and pizza and french fries. I skied down some pretty steep parts and just zig zagged my way down. I remained in control and Sara was quite impressed with my methodical technique... even though it was in slow motion and it took us about an hour to get down a run that takes her 20 minutes. So, what does all of this have to do with turning forty? Well, I was convinced that I couldn't handle a lot of things about this adventure... the panic on the lift, learning skiing and not having an accident, the altitude. What I learned is that my body can still do new things, and even well. I learned that being in the moment is the best thing in the world and that worry and anxiety are a waste of energy. I also learned that Sara is very patient. Finally, I learned that I am a natural when it comes to learning to ski but put me on the magic carpet and I will fall getting off everytime. I can still say that I never fell "skiing!"

Preparing for the Mile Post, Literally and Figuratively

I have been thinking it would be a great idea to write about my experiences throughout the year as I approach forty. As I have done in most things in life, I completely procrastinated. However, no matter how much I procrastinate, I will eventually reach 40 and then it will be too late to write about the approach. It seems that lately many things have happened to make the timing right to start such a blog. I just returned from skiing for the first time since I was 13 and at 11,900 feet. I just booked my ticket to Haiti for a chiropractic mission trip. Three friends and I are doing the Maryland part of the Appalachian trail this May. It seems that I am compelled to challenge myself lately. If this is a midlife crisis, it isn't so bad. I also am becoming acutely aware of the need to make the proper lifestyle changes to be physically and financially healthy in my future. I finally feel myself wanting to grow up rather than feeling pressured to grow up. I guess it is about time. So, besides all of the obvious thoughts that fly around in a single, childless woman's head about approaching forty, I would like to write about some of the adventures I have this year including the challenges, the lessons, the fun and the seriousness. So we start in March as I focus on training for my 41 mile hike through Maryland.