Skiing in the French Alps….

The first time I went skiing, I spent the entire run down the bunny hill in a panic, in pain, and lost in a terrifying, endless white abyss. With no cell reception, two ski’s tucked under my right arm, and puffy irritated tear ducts, I eventually made it down the hill alive.

I was 22 years old, and I cried the whole way down the mountain. Needless to say, it wasn’t my proudest moment.

I didn’t want to go in the first place, having never felt or understood the appeal to be cold, wet, and sore for an entire day in a snowy mountain. But after some convincing, I agreed.

One of the most profound quotes I strive to embody states that if you wait to do something until you are ready, you’ll never begin. So you should just jump right in. I told myself that this experience might be a good way to embrace the above mentioned principle.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, skiing does not apply to this lovely life motto.

After a long day I eventually made it home, kept crying, and swore off skiing for life.

Then I moved to the French Alps last August.

People kept inviting me to come skiing with them and I kept shrugging it off.

“I don’t ski,” I’d reply. “But thanks for the invite.”

Last week my close friends here told me they were going again.

“You have to come. Just one time.”

I don’t know if I was drunk or on medication, but for some reason, I looked down at the disappearing calendar pages, thought about my above mentioned life motto, and agreed. Again.

The morning came quick and abruptly, and I rambled off, “But I don’t have pants….also my leg kinda hurts, so…maybe I should sit this one out…”

“Nice try, Lauren. I have extra pants. And a jacket. You are coming.”

We made it to La Clusaz, a breathtaking ski resort in the French Alps located about 40 minutes from Annecy, France.

This is really happening I thought.

We approached the ski lift, jumped aboard and glided past a backdrop from storybooks and blockbuster hits, and it hit me- as terrified (and I mean terrified), sweaty, and overwhelmed as I felt, I was about to ski the motherfucking Alps.

We slid off the lift and scooted toward the edge of the blue level mountain.

Oh, shit. Hell. No.

I could feel the returning wave of trauma overwhelm me and all I could think about was how hard I had to try and not let the tears escape. You are 25 years old. You are an adult. Suck it up.

My friends could sense the panic, and they came over to build me up.

“You got this! Just pizza!”

“Yea, ok, great, got it….” I said as I tried to muster up a smile.

“It’s ok, I got you,” my friend Jacqueline said. “I used to be a ski instructed in Seattle. I’ll help you.”

I looked down the mountain again, planning my escape route, when she took my hand, skied backwards herself and literally guided me down the whole mountain. Like it was the easiest thing in the world. Every word that came out of her mouth were ones of encouragement, enthusiasm, and clear instruction on what I needed to do with my feet.

“Point your toes where you want to go. And tighten your core. Don’t move with your shoulders…etc.”

She then took me to the bunny slope and skied with me for three runs where I eventually started turning on my own. All by myself.

After about an hour, we went back up the big hill again so we could meet everyone at the bar, (conveniently located in the middle of a run) and proceeded with beer and several shots of tequila- which did a successful job of calming my nerves.

Listen, it’s not fun being the buzz kill, the weak and the vulnerable one when everyone else is ready to go for it. But we are all there at some point, and having someone there to support you and push you and help you accomplish something you never thought possible, is one of the best gifts.

Cheers to being scared of something and doing it anyway, to you Jacqueline, to tequila, to good friends, to laughter, to mountains, and to spring time in one of the most beautiful places in France.

I will miss it all when I’m gone.

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<3

Happy Birthday to my dearest Elizabeth.

Here’s to getting kicked out of Tot’s (which prob happened right after this photo was taken), for scaring the pants off me on a regular basis like no one else ever could, and for laugh/crying with me every time. Life would simply not be the same without you.  🙂

kjhjkhk

Quotes on Life

I just re-read Paulo Coelho’s THE ALCHEMIST for the second time and so I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes.  It really never gets old. If you haven’t read it, do it.  It might just change your life. 🙂

THE ALCHEMIST:

He was sure that it made no difference to her on which day he appeared:  for her, every day was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.

The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom.  There was nothing to hold him back except himself.

This wasn’t a strange place; it was a new one.

Sometimes, there’s just no way to hold back the river.

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world.  And normally he doesn’t know it.”

….there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language that the boy had used throughout the time he was trying to improve things at the shop.  It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love an purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.  

 Tangier was no longer a strange city, and he felt that, just as he had conquered this place, he could conquer the world. 

Carnival Vénitien d’Annecy

Two weekends ago was the Venetian Carnival here in Annecy, France. I went to see it on Sunday, and even though it was a bit rainy, there were still some committed performers out to strut their stuff along the canals.  While I enjoyed the costumes and the glamour, I must say, I definitely enjoyed the honey crêpe with the side of ice cream even more… 🙂  The following are some insta shots from the weekend:

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