With so many families celebrating a new season on the slopes over the holiday weekend, I wanted to share one bit of snowboarding wisdom with you: the chairlift doesn’t bite.
When I was a snowboarding instructor, one challenge many of my students faced was overcoming a paralyzing fear of the chairlift.
It’s easy to understand why: you’re strapped awkwardly to a board with one foot dangling while your annoying buddies pester you from behind. The thought of falling while getting off the lift is unbearable.
For weeks I tried to figure out how to explain to students that getting on and off the lift was easier than riding a bike. I consulted with fellow instructors and senior staff members, who mostly offered complex mechanical explanations on technique and form.
I knew there had to be an easier way to teach this.
Turns out there is. Here’s the trick:
Don’t think about it.
This realization came to me while sharing a chair with a student who was so scared of getting off the lift, I thought she might take it for a spin all afternoon. So I turned to her, said hey, look at me, don’t think about it.
She relaxed. She got off the lift. And she flashed the biggest smile I saw all day. She did it. She conquered her first chair.
That’s what I’m talking about.