Dave would most likely tell you that what I learned most from snow skiing was "It is not any fun to be carted down the hill wrapped up like a frozen banana after you have torn your ACL." That is not what this blog is about, by any stretch, but he is right that the day I tore my ACL was not one of my finest moments (darn it when he is right).
One of the things that you have to navigate while learning to ski (or coming back to it after being away for awhile) is the looming chair lift. I will never forget the first time I got on it, I thought to myself (and likely said outloud), "Well, that wasn't so bad." Oh crum!! Guess what! The chair lift, at some point, ends its trek, and you will be summarily dumped out at the top of a mountain. Nope, the high mountain didn't intimidate me (yet). It was the act of getting OFF that chair lift. It scared the stew out of me. That's when I noticed it----signs along the way stating, "Keep your tips up." What!?! What in the world does that mean?? I found out quickly what it didn't mean when we got to the top of the mountain, where we were supposed to exit. Along with a bunch of guys yelling at me, "Get off quickly! Hurry!" they were also yelling those words again, "Keep your tips up!" Before I could ask, "What does that mean?" a ski lift operator had yanked me off the lift where I promptly did a face plant right after he threw me to the side so the next people would not mow me down as they kept their tips up instead of having their tips of their skis poke directly into the snow and catapult them forward (which would have happened to me had it not been for Yankie-Yankster who pulled me off the lift).
What does "Keep your tips up" really have to do with my blog that is typically about communication, motivation, and trust? I think it is so pertinent in that the piece of advice that keeps people from face-planting into the snow (most of the time) also is a pretty positive look on life. When things are going rough and you just feel like looking down, do something different. Face forward, stay alert, and keep your outlook upward. So, my best friends from college, Dave and I always tell each other: Keep your tips up.
We talked about it a bunch this weekend, as it is even more important as we get older. Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman added to our girlfriend weekend this weekend when we went to see their Moxie Matters tour. One of the things that Jen said that was so great for me to hear when she was talking about how we all go through pain is that "People who don't transform their pain, transmit it." Ain't it the truth? She also asked us to consider, for ourselves, what needs to stand in the gap while we are transforming pain into recovery? I think "keeping our tips up" is a good start, but having a tribe of women and friends who have your back can be the biggest "tip up" experience ever. I know for certain Dave and I could not have survived my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment without help from our friends. They helped us keep our tips up!!
Just for today, consider what it is that you need (signs, someone yanking you to safety, a yell from someone, or maybe just a tribe who supports you) to survive whatever pain you are going through.
And remember----happy communicating!
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