This adventure started out benignly enough. I had a Groupon for a snow tubing session at Solider Hollow here in Utah. Solider Hollow was the site of a lot of the cross-country ski events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. After booking a session, I started out with my son and a friend and her family. The evening weather was wonderful. It was warm and the evening sky was filled with many stars. We got into our tubes and headed up the rope tow towards what promised to be a night full of fun. The first run down was fantastic. All five of us swapped ropes and bonded together for a joint ride down the hill. It was so fast and exhilarating that I just remember screaming and giggling all the way down. That was cool. The next run down, it was me and my kid and the course was getting slick. We screamed all the way down and thought that we would stop in time. However, the course had a different idea for us. In an instant, I just made the realization that we were going to go through the snow fence. Sure enough, that was just what we did. We both survived the scramble with nary a mark on us. However, it kind of set the tone for the rest of the night.
I immediately shifted into a mental state of fear. Pure, raw fear. Each run had me so worried about the ending, that I skipped enjoying the ride down. I kept going though because I was not going to let this stop my fun. It was not until the last run that my fear came true. This time I was all by myself, going so fast, that even when I dragged my feet down, I completely sped right by the course guy at the end. I went through not one but two snow fences. I heard my glasses shatter (or at least I thought I did), but got up and realized both me and my glasses were in one piece. I put my fist in the air and yelled, "Thank God for Costco. My glasses took the blow from the pole!". I escaped with some minor abrasions and lived to tell the story.
Why am I telling you this story? After my run, I decided I had had enough. I sat and watched everyone else hooting and hollering and thought to myself - what a metaphor for life. I was so focused and fearful of my ultimate end that I didn't enjoy the ride leading up to it. I soon realized that perhaps this was mirroring my own personal life. What am I doing to enjoy the ride leading up to my ending? What can I do on an every day basis to enjoy the "ride".
I looked back on that final run and realized that right before I knew I was going to make an impact, I just surrendered and let go. It probably saved me a few scratches by relaxing back into it. Time to do that in real life! I asked the course dude why he didn't stop me and he simply replied, because you were going way too fast. Time to slow down and enjoy the ride!!
Great Acronym to remember: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real!