Fear plays a large part in my skiing but in a good way. It keeps me honest and on alert.
About 10 years ago, I tore my ACL in the woods at MRG skier left of the double. Got jammed up in some tight woods as I led a pack of three. I heard my friends above ask that we bail. So, all I was trying to do was get out of the woods.
I was stopped and tried to do a jump turn rather than a kick turn to reorient myself. Well, my skies got hung up and I had a slow speed, legs split sort of fall, popped my ACL and then fell down and through brush, and then down a little ravine. I was stuck, injured and out of sight of my friends. I managed to climb back up, knee popping out, gathered my gear, extracted myself and skied down, fueled merely by pride at this point. Even did some butt sliding as I negotiated the trees. There were two dudes who I could have yelled out to but at this point I was on a mission.
About an hour later, my cousin sees me approaching the single and knew right away that I was in a bad way, skiing gingerly in a snowplow like I was a beginner again.
Long story short – it took years to get over that nasty experience in the woods. It took me a long time to overcome my fear of skiing trees, but today I have an improved respect for my mortality. And at 40 that ain’t a bad thing.