Confidence thrills, overconfidence kills

  A quote by Chandana Reddy

This article is for the moments in our lives when we feel overconfident, invincible, immortal, even, for example, larger than life. Often especially in these moments this feeling may let us “slip and fall on our backs”.

The reason why I am discussing this particular topic this month is because I had a skiing accident which caused an injury and me ending up in a knee immobilizer.

Don’t worry, I am fine. Really. The most important thing is that I am alive and that nothing is broken or severely damaged. 

It’s just that this very recent experience triggered me to share what I was reminded of.

Overconfidence will drown you in the sea of reality

Quote by Norain

I love skiing.

Since December 2020 I have skied already 14 days – a personal record since I graduated high school.

In general I am a cautious skier. I don’t like skiing too fast or taking too much risk because to me personally the price of an injury is higher than the momentary pleasure.

While some people are measuring their speed via various mobile applications, doing speed races or going off-piste, I usually prefer to not push my limits in order to prove my skills. I adjust my skiing style according to the conditions and I try to make the best of my time on the slopes.

Three days ago I took a day off in order to extend my skiing weekend. We were with a group of friends. There was fresh soft snow and it was snowing when we arrived in the morning. 

On the lift we reminded ourselves that the conditions required additional attention and that we had to be extra careful on that particular day.

Yet, there I was, not even an hour later, lying in the middle of the slope doubting if I would be able to stand up on my feet.

I cannot say I did something out of the ordinary. It was Monday morning. My friends were taking it easy but I just decided to go with the flow and didn’t stop to wait for them.

I was alone on the slope. There was the soft snow and the bumps and I guess I just  got distracted for a split second and this was the time that was needed for me to slip and fall in a way that my calf got twisted or overstretched.

The funny thing is that the previous two days I felt like I was in perfect shape. My muscles felt strong and not aching, my mind and focus was in the right place. On a few occasions I was feeling invincible and perhaps I had become a little less careful than usual.

What’s in it for you?

The day before my skiing accident, in the same mountain and ski resort, a 18 year old free rider lost his life to an avalanche. The boy was a member of the national free riding team and possessed the most advanced equipment for this dangerous sport. Yet he must have picked up the wrong peak, the wrong moment or the wrong movement. May his spirit rest in peace.

I was lucky to come back home on the day of my accident, but unfortunately he wasn’t. 

The reason why I am devoting this month’s article to this topic is to remind us that no matter how fit, experienced, courageous, confident, invincible we may feel, we should be cautious about letting our guard down. Even for a split second. 

Unfortunately, we are not invincible. We are not immortal.

Whether that’s in sports, at work, parenthood or any other occupation or hobby, the moment we get the feeling that we can handle anything that comes our way, we face a potential risk of us ending up disappointed, less careful, less concentrated, injured and in the worst case even dead.

Courage and confidence are important and much needed. But they should be practiced in a healthy dose. 

I am not saying we should live in fear and we shouldn’t take any risks at all.

“Before you attempt to beat the odds, 

be sure you could survive the odds beating you”

Quote by Larry Kersten

Sometimes, regardless of our plans and intentions, taking a fraction of an additional risk or even unintended carelessness may cause us trouble. Unfortunately we cannot calculate our every move and we cannot prevent mistakes or accidents from happening. 

You cannot imagine how many times I played back the day of the accident in my head. Thinking about what if I had acted slightly differently. 

Sometimes we just act in a certain way because it feels right at the time or because of the circumstances and all we can do is simply reap the consequences of our actions.

In my case, I feel grateful for being alive.

Enjoying the mountain from my window

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

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