Last month I went on a ski trip with friends to Mount Snow. It was my first time at Mount Snow and only my second time skiing in many years. Growing up in a flat-land state, Illinois, didn’t provide many opportunities to ski beyond the local converted garbage hills.
I like skiing, and now that ACbert and I live on the East Coast, we’re making it a point to get better since there are plenty more opportunities to ski here than back in the Land of Lincoln.
To challenge myself on this year’s ski trip, I went down a blue hill that was narrow and steep. Mid-way down the slope, I braced for a hard fall as I lost control and wobbled on my skis. In my mind I kept saying, “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” I knew it was going to hurt. Yard sale, here we come!
But then, just as I thought I was going to fall, I caught myself and regained balanced. I was safe.
When I got to the bottom of the run, my legs were still shaking from nerves.
“Oh shit” moments happen when you go past your comfort zone, when you do something that may, or may not go well, but based on your skill level you should be able to successfully complete and live to tell about.
Trying something that is too far beyond your skill level brings you into the danger zone because either you will get seriously physically hurt or mentally/emotional over whelmed with the difficulty of the task that it becomes depressing. In skiing, this would be like me trying a double black diamond slope.
If it were a video game and I just completed Level 1, replaying Level 1 would be my comfort zone, playing Level 2, 3, or 4 would be my growth zone, and anything past Level 4 would be my Danager Zone. If life were a video game, no one would think about sitting around in Level 1, but so many do.
Too few people push themselves into “oh shit” growth moments because it’s a lot easier to not. But growth, and thus life, happens during the “oh shit.”