All downhill from here...
I have a reputation for getting injured fairly often, so when I was invited to try skiing for the first time I got a lot of concerned feedback from friends and family. I pride myself on being adventurous and mostly fearless, and there was no way I was going to let a questionable track record keep me from trying something new.
After a week of searching for 'beginner skiing tips' on YouTube and a quick skill review outside the gear rental shop, I went to the bunny hill and stared down the seemingly endless sheet of snow. This was fine, right? Just like roller skating. (Let's forget that I twisted both my elbow and my ankle back when I though Roller Derby was a good idea.)
I started slow, feeling confident as I snaked down the hill. I turned and turned again, picking up speed and still not falling. I couldn't hear Allison anymore. Wasn't she just behind me giving me tips? I picked up more speed...and some more...and some more. I raced around the bases of the ski lift, my heart in my throat as the bottom of the hill came into sight. I was going much too fast and I had no idea how to stop. There was nothing for it; I had to wipe out.
Laying flat on my back in the snow, I felt adrenaline and the pain from a previous injury flare back to life. My leg was seizing and I hurriedly unclipped my boots, sitting in the snow and feeling nauseous from shock and pain. I knew I was done for the day. I felt disappointed in myself, worried that I had let my friends down, and ashamed that everyone has been right in warning me to be careful.
It took a pep talk from someone special to let me know that it was okay and that I hadn't let anyone down. That it's okay to not be perfect. That sometimes it's okay to fall and not get back up.
But don't ever let that stop you from trying something new.