When plans fall apart, the real magic happens | Skiing | CBC Sports

SkiingWhen plans fall apart, the real magic happens

Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | 02:47 PM

Back to accessibility links
Kelly VanderBeek, third from left, skied some training runs recently with a group in Panorama, B.C., that also included Canadian men's team member Manuel Osborne-Paradis, fourth from left. Kelly VanderBeek, third from left, skied some training runs recently with a group in Panorama, B.C., that also included Canadian men's team member Manuel Osborne-Paradis, fourth from left.

Beginning of Story Content

Over the two years since my knee injury, my time was filled with extremely hard work to rehab and rebuild an injured body and spirit. This taught me that, sometimes, the best laid plans and resolutions are those that leave room for life.

Between my training/physio/surgeries I had to fill my time with things that kept my spirits high and my mind engaged. In doing so, I began to refine many old skills and learn new ones. All of these positive things happened because my plans didn't go as I'd hoped or expected.
As New Year's resolutions continue being made (and broken) I'm wondering where I sit on the whole idea. Other than vowing to floss my teeth more every year, I'm not one to make resolutions. This being said, I'm a borderline obsessive planner and goal setter.  

Nearly everything I do is done with a plan and with intention. (Yes, I am a type-A personality... thanks, Mum!)

Over the two years since my knee injury, my time was filled with extremely hard work to rehab and rebuild an injured body and spirit. This taught me that, sometimes, the best laid plans and resolutions are those that leave room for life. Since every time I planned my return to skiing/racing I was sidelined by yet another road block, I had to find fuel for my spirit.

Between my training/physio/surgeries I had to fill my time with things that kept my spirits high and my mind engaged. In doing so, I began to refine many old skills and learn new ones. I returned to my love of photography, learned to crochet, re-ignited my passion for the art of drawing and painting, worked and grew as a broadcaster; developed a research study, and partnered with an old teammate and the University of Calgary to help make alpine skiing safer for future generations.  

Most of all, I got to know my husband better. After nearly 10 years together, it has been the last two years where we've felt our strongest and closest. (It's amazing how actually seeing each other helps!)  

All of these positive things happened because my plans didn't go as I'd hoped or expected.

I suppose it's life's unexpected moments and opportunities that can be the true magic of living. Luckily, I have been supported in a way that gave me the pause and perspective to see them.  

I'm now in top training form on the hill, and hope to start introducing racing elements soon. I'm proud of the work I've done to get here and look forward to the challenges that lay ahead.  

Although the last two years haven't gone to plan, they have taught me to find the beauty in that; the beauty in letting go. When I was racing on the World Cup circuit, I learned to let go of my course plan, my expectations and my judgments, in order to free myself to perform. It was then that I achieved my personal bests. I suppose I'm now learning that this injury and this life is following a similar plan.

As soon as I'm able to let a plan go, things start to fall into place and the real magic happens.   

Nerves

Just last week I tweeted, "Wouldn't life be boring if you never felt nervous?" I was referring to a training session I had just done with Manuel Osborne-Paradis where we jumped off the crest of a hill that had never been done before. It was a perfect, natural jump, but the nervous feeling approaching the lip of the hill for the first time, when all you could see below was the valley, was exhilarating. In that moment, I felt truly alive!

Now, I'm not saying we should all start throwing our bodies down mountains to feel this way. What I am saying, is that pushing our limits every now and the is an incredible way to live.  

Some people assume I'm an adrenaline junkie since I choose to go 140km/h down an icy mountain for a living. However, for me, finishing my first painting was just as exhilarating as jumping down that hill with Manny last week. It's that sense of the unknown that keeps me exploring my own psyche and the world around me.  

This coming Sunday I'll be going out of my comfort zone again as I prepare to call my first full ski race on TV - a women's World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

From there, I may be off to Europe myself to see how my knee holds up on full courses.  My fingers are crossed that I'll get the required clearance to take that next step!

I've enjoyed watching the World Cup unfold this season, but it's never quite the same from a distance. It will be good for my soul after so much work to be back around the White Circus (World Cup Tour). Even if I'm not in full swing, it's a start.

Looking ahead
 
Upon reflection, I suppose I do make New Year's Resolutions. However, they're made daily and reaffirmed regularly.  

For 2012, my resolution is to find new ways to feel nervous, to feel alive. Whether that's throwing myself down mountains or painting a masterpiece, I welcome it all!

End of Story Content

Back to accessibility links

Story Social Media

End of Story Social Media

Comments are closed.