Lately, I have been near obsessive about viewing YouTube POV videos of skiers going down ski trails of nasty repute, e.g. Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, the HahnenKamm at Kitzbühel, and the downhill race course at Lake Louise. I watch the videos and the combination of translating a 3D world onto a 2D medium and the excellence of the skiers taking the video makes the runs appear to be fairly, well, simple.
However, I have skied enough to know the runs these people are skiing down are not “simple”, but major portions of each run earn black diamond or double black diamond ratings and these are mountain ratings too. So, I do know they do present serious difficulties to the skier.
However, I wonder how much of the difficulty is more mind game than actual difficulty? I often find myself at the top of a challenging trail having to psych myself up for it and then when I do go, find myself holding back. Not so much because I can not manage the run, but because sometimes I fear letting go. I can manage speed, I have hit 60mph and put the breaks on and stopped in a fairly short distance. I know how to work a hill to keep speed under wraps and if the runs are wide and sparsely populate I can traverse the hill without a problem.
How can I possibly take on challenging terrain? I need to get myself into shape, but once that is done then what? How does one get their mind into shape for such challenges?
Forget about skiing now and think of the daily grind. We can do a lot more than we do, but only if we let ourselves, only if we brush aside our fears and push off of the edge onto that headwall.