When was the last time your heart skipped a beat? Were you watching a terrifying movie? Were you late for something? Maybe you drank too much caffeine like I do every morning. How did you feel before you doing something for the first time, giving a speech, or pitching something? The butterflies flapping in your stomach might have more closely resembled a flock of birds. Humongous birds. Hawks with pointy beaks and talons.
These are all pretty stressful scenarios. How about thrilling experiences and adventures? Even though we choose them, the adrenaline amps up when we push ourselves and ride on the edge of control. The last time my heart pumped like crazy was last weekend.
Most people strive to live inside their comfort zone. With COVID, our lifestyles have become isolated, humdrum, and boring. I’m an adventurous person and have found relief in hiking and biking while spending weekends in the mountains. I had looked forward to winter.
This ski season has been all kinds of weird.
With COVID restrictions in place, pass holders have to book ski days in advance. That has forced me to ski a lot more than usual since resorts frown on last-minute cancellations. Of course, they don’t ding anyone if they don’t feel well. Call me a rule follower.
Normally, I would peek outside at the weather, check the overnight snow total, temperature, and my energy level before deciding to go skiing. It’s only January, and I’ve already skied sixteen days. That’s more than some entire seasons!
After being cooped up writing all week, the fresh air is exhilarating. My body craves exercise. It’s a thrill to fly down the mountain.
At the beginning of the season, temperatures were in the forties, and the snow was soft — easy to carve at Keystone and Breckenridge. Only a few runs were open on intermediate runs, but I was grateful for the conditions. Then temperatures dropped. Storms continue to miss the area. If it snows at all, it’s measured in an inch or two.
Not like last year –
Most of the higher and more difficult terrain hasn’t opened yet. The black diamond runs that I’ve skied this year are so rocky I have to pick my way down. That leaves the beginner and intermediate runs. Am I bored out of my mind? Nope.
Man-made snow on the slopes has turned to ice. Like driving during snowy conditions, I look for the rough texture of snow to get a grip, turn, and slow me down.
The idea is to stay in control.
A few weeks ago, I skied a run to a lift at Beaver Creek. A couple of skiers had stopped on the far side of a headwall. As I started check my turn to slow the heck down, my brakes gave out. Although I was a safe distance away, I dug in as hard as I could, my poor instep on my downhill ski desperate for purchase. After making a super-wide turn, I gave up, and with my weight forward, flew down the slippery slope. Wow. That’s the kind of adrenaline rush I like to avoid.
Last weekend, conditions were so bad, no one was on the mountain in the afternoon. Bonus! That’s my husband, Danny.
So far, it’s been a safe season — lots of adrenaline, but no accidents, muscle pulls, or horrible spills.
But it’s only January.
What do you like to do for an adrenaline rush? Do you enjoy suspense novels or movies? What completely bores you out of your mind?