Yesterday, the last day of February, I had the opportunity to go cross-country skiing in Saratoga National Historical Park. We refer to this location as the ‘Battlefield’ because it was a major player in the Revolutionary War. It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-twenties. That may seem cold but the temperature has been below zero so it felt warm with the sun shining on us and the layers of clothing we were wearing.
This was the first time in around twelve years that I have been on cross-country skis. I have been snowshoeing for the last several. I think snowshoeing allows the user to be in a little more control of the pace and direction. When I placed the skis on my feet the first thing that happened was I began to slide – feet in different directions. My body reacted in a panic. It truly surprised me.
It was slow going and I felt like I was holding Bill back from enjoying the experience. He is adventurous and loves moving at a fast pace without fear. It opened my eyes to realize that I do have a fear of being out of control of my body and my body lets me know through the panic that sets in the muscles. This is a side of me that doesn’t show itself until I am in these situations. This didn’t deter me, I continued on at a slower pace. It wasn’t long before I went down.
After going down my first thoughts went to my sore arm, hip, and ankle. Then to how long would it take to get back to the car. Thankfully those were fleeting thoughts. While down I saw some interesting things – a hole in the snow made by a small animal, the sun shining through the trees, the sparkle of the sun on the snow. It sparkled like diamonds. I pulled out the camera and started shooting.
After a little bit of practice, I began to feel confident and was able to glide along the flat areas and even on small inclines. The feeling of gliding along on the snow was invigorating and I felt successful.
We went gliding along for quite a while, stopped to sit on the snow for a snack, and some additional photos. As we continued on we saw deer tracks, mountains, and many other beautiful scenes.
Bill finally felt comfortable traveling at his own pace during times that I took off my skis to trudge through the snow up the inclines.
As you can see he is very capable of handling the hills whether traveling down or up. I on the other hand had to figure out how to manage my own fears and anxiety. There were times traveling along that I surprised myself with my bodies resistance to the challenge.
Toward the end when I went down and couldn’t seem to untangle my feet no matter how many times I attempted to keep on the skis and stand. My legs did not want to cooperate with my mind. The more I tried to get up the more difficult and more tangled my legs and skis became which resulted in more frustration setting in.
I thought – this is me – the happy, fun-loving, content person. The lover of nature and all things outside. I laid down in the snow and allowed my body a win. I laughed at myself for a minute. Then I was able to move my right leg and removed the skis once again. It was over for me at that point. The skis had to go. The soft snow was up to my knees and I fell through several times before reaching the snowshoe path that was hard and manageable. At my own pace I was able to pull out the camera and take photo shots along the way. It allowed me to slow down to enjoy the sparkling snow, the deer trails, the fur along the trail – remains of an unfortunate rabbit.
We all have a pace we enjoy, we flow at this pace. Sometimes it can be fast in one situation and slower in others. In nature, mine is slower. When I tried to push myself into a pace I didn’t feel comfortable my body rebelled. It wasn’t a good feeling and the emotions that rose from within me surprised me but sometimes we have to be reminded. There are emotions lurking in the depth of our being. When they rise we can address them, discover where they come from and then release. No need to linger there – when down – stop and take some photos of beautiful things. Don’t try to go at someone else’s pace – let everyone move at the pace that is right for them. Somewhere in the middle we meet and that is the place to build relationships. In that middle place we can learn a lot about ourself. When we stop to take time to contemplate and find peace, we can be happy wherever we are at this point in time. It doesn’t mean we have to stay there, but we can be grateful for where we are and where we have been. Then take time to decide on where we are going and plan steps to take us on that path. Mine for today is to overcome the fear of letting go and releasing some control so I might move a little faster along my path.
That was the lesson I learned yesterday while lying in the snow:) Have you had any similar experiences? I would love to hear about them if you have.
Love and Light!