I'm learning to cross-country ski, and it's pretty awesome. With the help of youtube videos and gentle encouragement, I've been tackling more difficult trails out at the nature center where I work. It's all pretty fabulous.
After work on Saturday, I went out for an hour with a coworker and Matt. It's been hovering around or below zero here for a few days, so it is darn cold. I typically just wear windpants and my shell for skiing, but I got totally outfitted to go. For Matt, this meant borrowing a hat; as a Minnesota native, he's full of hubris regarding the cold. My coworker lent him a little whimsy along with the headgear, and he thanked us afterward for taking care of his ears. We went down into the woods, but there was still wind around that kept us chilled.
I learned to branch out some; I even went downhill! Of course, I fell down about four times on just one hill, but I am becoming a pro at standing back up. Except for the downhills, I've started skiing without my poles to help me refine my kick-glide.
On to the title topic: the power of positive thinking. Near the end, we have to go back uphill again to get back to our office and main building. The hill is pretty steep, so you've got to herringbone to get back up. I'm a total novice at that and therefore still slip a lot. I was working my way up the hill and heavily relying on my poles to keep me from sliding backward. I started to think "man, I've got to apologize to Matt and my coworker. I'm going so slow." Then, I straightened up my abs and decided, "No, I don't have to apologize. They're both good skiiers; I'm just learning. This is perfectly natural. And I'm actually doing a good job getting up without falling down or sliding backwards." After that, I managed to make it up the hill just fine. I'm elated at the progress I'm making!
An example of how cold it was: Matt's beard froze, and the front of my jacket got covered with frost. Turns out that the balaclava (my funny hat/face thing) was really useful. All in all, a fun time!