I’m not usually one to make resolutions, especially at a time when there seems to be some kind of social obligation to do so, but this year is different. I’ll explain.
I was sitting at the top of the Continental Divide yesterday with my friend Aurom after just hiking up a massive hill (wait, no. A mountain. Literally) in two feet of fresh powder with my snowboard on my back. The snow and ice were unforgivingly freezing our faces and we couldn’t see more than about ten feet in any direction, except straight down, which was the only direction to go. I wish I had my camera with me, because this was not your ordinary steep black diamond run; this was nearly a straight drop off of about 200 feet. The icy wind stabbed at us until I, feeling particularly wussy in the face of said drop off, suggested that we should perhaps go back down the way we came. Aurom, the eternal optimist and fearer of almost nothing, said, “Let’s just wait until the wind dies down,” to which I replied, “We’re sitting on top of the Continental Divide. The wind does not die.” But, after sitting there a few minutes more and considering how I would feel walking back down the mountain with my head down in shame, I decided to strap in and take a leap of faith off that ridge. And you know what? It was one of the best runs I’ve ever done. The wind in my face as I tore down the mountain into the tree cover where I was forced to cut in and out of narrow paths between snow-covered pines was infinitely more satisfying than cautiously walking back with my proverbial tail between my legs.
So, I think this is actually my first New Year’s resolution ever, and you my friends are here to witness it. From now on, I’m living with less fear. Take that. More yeses, less whiny reluctance. Maybe you should try it too. If not for a year, then for a week. Just try to act out of a lack of fear for a while. And I’m not talking about feigning an image of invincibility with clever hats and t-shirts like someone decided to market in the early 90s. I’m talking about moving boldly without worrying about failure.
If you need a place to start, I suggest jumping off the Continental Divide on a snowboard while The Smashing Pumpkins’ Cherub Rock plays on your iPod. No guts, no glory. Go for it.