You might remember, if you follow my blog that Sam (Mrs McLovinMountains) and I recently learned to ski and had headed out a month or so ago to Les houches nr. Chamonix for a few days of slipping and sliding.
We headed back this week after the lack of Scottish winter climbing or skiing options drove me back to the web and Air BnB in desperation and desire get back on it.
This time we left the comfortable familiarity if Les Houches to join friends Menna and Steve in the more extensive slopes of Contamines. With many more runs, longer pistes and steeper, more challenging blues we certainly had to “face the fear and do it anyway” .
Tough? yes, scary ? At times hell yeah but overall fun , exciting and it certainly pushed our skills up !
Followed by a days incredible and invigorating climbing on Cosmiques aréte (see “Friends in high places“) then a day back in Les Houches bombing around easy greens at speed and the more pedestrian and shorter blues with ease it turned out to be a great example of Type 2 fun.. the type that can be scary at the time but afterwards you look back on as awesome and rewarding. (As opposed to type 1 – simple.pleasures like sex, good food or the cinema or the terror and never doing it again of Type 3)
One fundamental lesson that climbing and mountaineering have taught me is to progress, to really grow – to live really you need to do things that stress you (just a little), frighten you (just a little) and challenge your norms, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual.
If you have ever learned to drive you will know that feeling. In the beginning its all new and scary but son it becomes the new normal. We don’t learn and grow as people by repeating the things we already know and are utterly confident and comfortable with – or we’d all still be wearing nappies, eating rusk and living with our parents.
I don’t expect to be on the reds any time too soon, but I know I will at some point and the smiles say it all.
All of it supporting the motto I live (and coach) by which is “you have to leave your comfort zone , because outside of it is where the magic happens“.
Already I feel my motivation for climbing, training & challenging myself returning. Trepidation about the Mitt ridge has turned to excitement, planning now taking over in my mind rather than doubt.
Onward and upwards , the pendulum back squarely where it belongs.