I’m stronger than I think I am (Day 1/31 #sol20)

Our background is what we skied earlier that morning – almost to the valley floor, which is way out of sight here.

“Woah. Really? That’s a huge day.”

That was my initial response last week when Mike put out an idea for a Saturday Backcountry Ski Plan With Friends. The tour that he had in mind was one that he’d done a handful of times before, one that had been on his list for years before that, and one that I’d heard described by him – the crazy strong and efficient guy who is on skis almost every day of the season – as “fun, but that second skin up is a bear.”

To my Weekend Warrior self, this particular tour seemed like a pipe dream – maybe something I could attempt in the spring, when I’d have more than six backcountry days under my feet and a little more confidence on board. Now didn’t seem like the time for me to jump right into this kind of massive adventure.

But, here’s the thing about me. My self perception can absolutely be influenced by those I trust, love, and respect. When my brain is going, “oh my god, there’s no WAY that I could do a day that big on skis”, and then Mike tells me that he thinks I’ll be fine and that I can totally handle it and I won’t hold the group back at all on the uphill parts and that I’ll absolutely rock the ski down parts … Sure! I’ll give it a go.

So I gave it a go.

Upper middle…
End! Back on the valley floor, 8 hours later. One tired cookie.

Our day contained the following pieces of information:

  • 3750’ of up
  • 7864’ of down
  • 13,300’ as a top elevation
  • 8 hours of movement in ski boots
  • 12+ miles of travel
  • Extremely variable snow. From a few pitches of soft and creamy dreaminess to most pitches of sun crusted nastiness, and everything in between.
  • 4 miles of (adding insult to injury) skating back to the car
  • 4 incredible friends
  • 0 foot blisters (a minor miracle!)
  • 1 redefined view of myself. I did it.

So, as it turns out, I’m stronger than I think I am. I know myself well enough to be armed with Kristina’s Tools For Success (headphones, a killer playlist, some stashed chocolate chip cookies, and mind-body connections breathing techniques for when my smile finally fades from my face on the last pitch of the absolute BEAR of the second skin up), but it also serves me well to listen to what others believe I can do.

Now, Mike and I are off on a getaway to soak in the local hot springs for the next two days. I wonder what next weekend’s adventure will be…

19 thoughts on “I’m stronger than I think I am (Day 1/31 #sol20)

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  1. You go! When you have someone who knows you so well, finding the strength and perseverance is easier, even when you are climbing up major mountains. And chocolate chip cookies always help the cause too. Congrats on this accomplishment and you earned those hot spring days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How inspiring! I love how you chronicled your day with pictures and words. I’m learning to stop and take the time to record my thoughts and feelings about everyday things and amazing days, like this. I wonder how sore you were the next day?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so thankful to have this documentation, too – I can go back and give myself a little “I can do it!” boost whenever motivation dips low. ☺️ I was pretty tired the next day. Not super sore but pretty spent. Yoga cured what ailed me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This tour looks amazing! We should keep in touch – I love backcountry skiing (well, all kinds of skiing, really!) and I write about it a lot! It helps to have friends that push you in the best ways! We are often a lot stronger than we think we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was so fabulous to read. I connected so much to this line, “My self perception can absolutely be influenced by those I trust, love, and respect.” I feel this way too and it made me realize so many others do as well, including my students. Those around us have an immense influence on what we take on and sometimes what we don’t. I just love the inspiration in this slice. Thanks for sharing this moment of strength with us all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing! You guys have such great adventures. I love the way you write about them & your inner discoveries. (Your Choc Chip yen is one of the finer traits you inherited from dear ol’ dad…!)

    Liked by 1 person

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