By SkiMum Paula
A group of gals were sitting on an actual porch swing a couple summers back drinking a few glasses of red, red wine as dusk turned to twilight and chit chat turned to philosophy when one of my dear friends announced, “Sometimes, I just don’t want to be a rodeo cowgirl!”
Well, that broke the silence, and peals of laughter consumed us for the rest of the night. For what statement, even for a petite blonde from Fort Worth, could be more absurd and, yet, more insightful than that? From what started as a pretty hilarious euphemism to a declaration of independence, these 10 words encompassed what the rest of us occasionally felt when pressed in directions beyond or outside our course. I am not talking about failing to push ourselves; most gals I know push themselves too hard most of the time. I am talking about recognizing when we are not where we want to be or can be at that time.
Regardless of our role as parent, spouse, professional, employee, parishioner, volunteer, advocate … or often all of the above, we place so much pressure on ourselves. To do what? Sometimes, I don’t even know! But I sometimes know it just doesn’t feel right.
I also know that, after allowing myself a morning alone … on the mountain … with powder at my toes and old KROQ in my ears, my path often seems clearer. Either the barriers reveal themselves making them easier to scale, or my fears and inhibitions seem smaller than the peaks around me helping me put things into perspective. OK, maybe it’s the altitude and the lack of oxygen or the adrenaline from finding myself unintentionally on that freaking chute under Mineral Basin – again. I don’t think so but regardless, when I wind down the canyon at the end of the day and the city below reveals itself, I know where I am in my life and know my course.
Then, just watch this cowgirl ride.
I feel you. I’m not a mom, but I can relate to just needing to break out of molds and routine and just be—well, free. Skiing does that for me. Riding my bike in the summer does that for me. Trail running…anything that brings a little rush of wind & adrenaline. Completely necessary to ground myself and find those moments of reflection without having to think about everything (and everyone) else. We all need that alone time with the elements.