If You’re Scared, Do It Anyway

Poma lift, photography by John M.

The prospect of being on the slope without a coach was honestly terrifying me. I was going to do it for the first time yesterday, but chickened out because I still have so much fear of falling off the lift without a coach there, of holding everybody up and of being deemed too much of a liability to be on the slope alone.

I was so scared, I even called my mother.

The thing is though, it’s not wholly rational for me to have had so much fear. I’ve passed all of the basic lessons, I have been told twice already that I am slope worthy. I’m going to development coaching. That should’ve been enough to stop me from being scared. Sadly though, anxiety isn’t all that controllable and it certainly is rarely rational. What a wonderful world it would be if it was.

Saying this, my fear didn’t come from nowhere. My use of the Poma was (and still is) somewhat sketchy. I am still very much a beginner, and it’s not like I was scared of something that was unlikely to happen. But ultimately you don’t improve if you never try, and you can run away all you want, but running away will never solve the problem.

So today, I went to the slope by myself. And yes I did fall off, twice, but it only had to be stopped once when I fell right at the top. The problem is that I just haven’t worked out how to consistently get on well enough that I am not slipping off, but the only way I’ll learn is more practice.

Not only did I face my fear of using the Poma alone, but I had fun just riding for riding’s sake, and I worked hard to practise and troubleshoot things I’ve learnt and any problems I found myself having. I did stick predominantly to the bottom half of the slope, partly because I was slipping off the button lift and couldn’t make it all the way up, and partly because after a few runs from the very top I realised I needed to work on my technique on a more gentle incline first. But that’s ok, that’s how you progress. My goal today was to stop being scared and only next time my goal is to be refining my technique from the very top.

There were features everywhere today that other people were hitting with style and I was, by far, the worst snowboarder on the slope. But you know, I really don’t care. I had so much fun, I faced my fears, I might have looked like an idiot but nobody was anything but nice to me. I’ll get better. When you’re scared, don’t run away. Just do it, what’s the worst that can happen?

I end this post by thanking the staff at Snozone, again, for being so patient and friendly, and for helping me to relax and feel more comfortable when I was so ridiculously scared.

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2 thoughts on “If You’re Scared, Do It Anyway”

  • I have exactly the same feeling at the moment. I’m only a 2 day holiday and 2 indoor slope sessions along and I suppose I have progressed ok in that time but still. Snozone built my confidence a few weeks ago as I think a chiller was broken so it was slow and slushy so I’m expecting a knock to my confidence today and Snowdome! Eeek!

    • Is that at MK? They seem to have been having a lot of problems with the chillers lately, but I wouldn’t know personally because I ride up at Castleford. I’m sure you’ll be fine, though! A coach once told me it’s about 70% mental, so just believe in yourself and have fun 🙂

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