Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A week of firsts

First, for the first time in a long time, I had the opportunity to go skiing at Snowshoe Mountain with my brother.  Tammy helped me to rekindle an enjoyment for skiing this year, and that lead to going back to Snowshoe for some Spring skiing this past week.  This was the first year that I had skied in about 20 years, and it had been over 20 years since i had been to Snowshoe. That lead to a first. Thursday marked the first time that I had ever skied Cupp Run. For those of you that aren't familiar, it is one of the most difficult slopes at Snowshoe mountain.  The slope is a black diamond slope that features a 1500' elevation drop over the 1.5 mile run.  The shear size of the slope is somewhat daunting, especially standing at the top and not being able to see the end of the slope. Snowshoe own propaganda:

“The Western Territory, with 1500′ of steeps to conquer, is where adrenaline junkies head to get their fix. With the legendary Cupp Run, designed by Olympian Jean-Claude Kily [sic], and Shay’s Revenge, with steeps of 52% and “mountain size” moguls, even the most hardcore skiers and snowboarders have to take notice of these two beasts.”

As an average skier, I had built up a fear and anxiety over that particular slope. I had a desire to ski the slope, but also understand the dangers lurking there for a skier of my ability. As a matter of fact, I had kinda psyched myself out over thing whole thing. 

My brother had skied Cupp Run before and said it was up to me if and when we would attempt it.  As I skied that morning I mentally wrestled with myself... Should I or shouldn't I ... Will Ia make it down the hill without going down? If I do go down... Well I be able to get going again easily?  You get the picture... I mentally went through all the worse case scenarios.  Finally I told myself that I could do this (after skiing everything else at Snowshoe).  I screwed up my courage and told Lynn that I thought I was ready. 

As we walked across the road to the Western Territory,where Cupp Run is located, I tell myself to ignore the HUGE warning signs. Black Diamond Slopes... Experienced Skiers Only... You get the idea. Hopefully I've given you some insight into my mental state as I stepped into my skis at the top of the hill.

Long story short, I survived... I didn't fall down (although it was close a few times)... I wasn't hurt or permanently maimed. I made it down Cupp Run... Twice... And skied the top part of Shay's Revenge (the bottom part is Double Black Diamond ... Gotta save something for next time!)

After those couple of runs we headed to lunch. During our lunch the the skiing conditions changed drastically.  The sun had come out and the snow was starting to get a little slushy.  This makes the slopes so that you go slow in the slushy sections... speeding up on shaded and icier areas...then it's like slamming on the brakes when you hit another slushy area.  Not my favorite!  I know... Excuses... Yes, you guessed it. On one of the beginner slopes, I had just such an experience... I hit an especially slushy part and went down...for the first time all day I had fallen, and on an "easy" slope.

So the moral of this story (or at least what God is teaching me through it) is this.  We can be so focused on the "Big Things" in our lives...and the little things can sneak up on us and take us out.  I was so focused/fretting/dreading the big monster, and it ended up being not nearly the big deal that I made it out to be. I had prayed, did my pros and con's, and even consulted with others on this thing.  But, ultimately, it was the "simple" thing that took me down.  I think life can be just like that.  We tend to sweat/overthink the big stuff, but the little stuff we try to handle on or own.  Trust me, that way can lead to some ride awakenings...and bruises.  I think we not to change or perspective... Namely to God's perspective... Or at least that's the way I see it....

From My Perspective

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

From my Perspective

I was traveling toward Elkins, WV this week and saw this tree out in the middle of a small pond. I have to admit that it is not the first time I have noticed this tree. In fact I have viewed it many times over the last several months.  I even commented to Tammy how pretty it was... especially when lit in the wee hours of the morning (that would be anytime before the sun is fully up) and in the evenings. The white lights could be seen dancing across the surface of the pond... And later as the pond froze over, or as i happened to pass by in a snowstorm, it's beauty became almost overwhelming. It has been a companion and a source of joy to me.

However, today, as we approach the middle of March it has taken on a new place in my mind.  It makes me think of some of the things that are part of my life that have overstayed their welcome. I dare say you know what I'm talking about, because chances are you have a few of your own.  It's sad, really, how something that once held such joy and grandeur, can lose that so quickly after it passes it's expiration date.

As I reflect on this tree, and how it challenging me in my life, I would like to challenge you to examine some of the things in your own life that may have gone beyond their useful date. Let's all pack up and get rid of those things that just don't belong in the current season of our lives.