I admit that I fell in love with fear

2022-05-06 0 By

For the last 10 years of my 18 years, I have been searching for a tumultuous, fearful love.I’m a professional freestyle skier, and the pair of skis on my feet, the 22-foot halfpipe, and the stunts are my main sources of adrenaline, the core of what makes extreme sports truly addictive.Like all charmed lovers (at least the ones I read about in fiction, since I don’t have the experience in real life), your significant other can sometimes be very…Capricious.In fact, fear is a general term for three different feelings: excitement, uncertainty, and stress.I have discovered that each of these feelings has subtle indicators that can help you succeed if they are recognized and used in a positive way, and that if their principles are ignored, these feelings can be a precursor to injury.While it’s easy to label athletes in extreme sports as “fearless” or “wayward,” neither the countless hours I spent crafting my techniques nor the countless hours I spent in foam pits (where foam particles are everywhere) and in airbags would suggest otherwise.We’re going against our biological instincts and putting ourselves at risk.While we do everything we can to prepare ourselves physically, no amount of safety net simulation training can equal the snow slope we will face when we take off from a steep slope, throw our bodies into the air and land on it.Rather than ignoring fear, we need to develop a unique relationship with it by developing a deep sense of self and a thoughtful risk assessment.The first step in this work is called visualization: before I try a new technique, I feel a tension in my chest (between the bottom of my throat and the top of my diaphragm, to be precise).I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.When I climb the huge take-off ramp, I stretch my legs imaginatively to maximize lift.I then mentally picture twisting my upper body in the opposite direction, creating torque, and then bouncing it back in the other direction.Now, in my mind’s eye, I’m already in the air.For the first time AFTER jumping, I would look behind me, then my body would spin and drag my eyes to the cloudless sky above me.The wind was a kind of music in my ears, each 360 degree rotation providing a musical beat to my movements.When my feet are underneath me, I can find out where I’m going to land just before PULLING my body into the second flip.When I’m back in a forward-facing position, I imagine my legs swinging under my feet and letting the front end of my snowshoe hit the ground with my weight.I smile, open my eyes, and a 1440-degree flip is complete.After a few seconds of “visualization,” the sense of urgency in my chest would rise and fall, then spread — and we’d reached the critical stage of emerging from the cocoon into a butterfly.Excitement is a product of adrenaline, and it’s something I love and love.I strike a precarious balance between confidence in my own safety to perform miracles and the excitement of an unpredictable experience to come.I’ve heard this state of mind be called the zone, and I experienced it last fall when I became the first female snowboarder in history to complete a 1440-degree off-axis spin.Unfortunately, it’s easy for your uncertainty to overwhelm your confidence.Imperfect preparation makes my palms sweat and shifts the tension I mentioned earlier into my stomach, making each breath shallower than the last.The feeling is not panic, but something akin to fear.Danger signals can trigger evolutionary instincts.If I choose to ignore the safety mechanism, my body may act involuntarily in the air, spinning out of control and forcing me to prepare for the impact, because that’s when I really fear that if I fully engage in the action, it could have catastrophic consequences.Every freestyle skier aims to recognize the subtle difference between excitement and uncertainty in order to maximize performance while minimizing the risk of injury.But athletes can either suppress or reinforce this buried desire to “prove themselves,” depending largely on their confidence.As a young adult female athlete, I take pride in the fact that I can increase my self-esteem and minimize my need for expectations, thereby controlling the pressure around me.Whether alone or in front of the world, I focus on appreciating the present, judging the present, and enjoying what sports bring me.While my personal perspective and that of the world will always evolve over time, one thing remains the same: NO matter how much time passes, I will remain a hopeless romantic in the face of fear