Driving in the Snow: at Comfort’s Zone Edge

I was never taught how to drive in rain, snow or ice. Growing up in St. Louis I am imagining that there was rain, snow and ice, however, nobody ever thought to teach me how to drive safely in these conditions or how to relax while driving. I made sure my kids had this experience as this paralyzes me. They must have gotten the fearless gene as they did not blink if they needed to drive on slick roads. If I think it is going to rain or sleet, I adjust my driving plans.

Sounds crazy for someone who says yes to most things and thinks of herself as brave, empowered and strong.

It made me wonder about comfort zones and pushing my own. Recently due to an injury I have found myself in Surrender yoga classes. Yes, I admit, I avoid these classes, instead preferring the more challenging flow and heated classes.

Surrender classes are practiced on the mat; instructors suggesting different poses that “take us to our edge”. I still think to myself, “I’ve been to the edge. I’ve looked over the edge. I’ve teetered on the edge. There are still some days I feel like I’m AT the edge. And yet…I’ve survived the edge. Why in the world am I twisting into poses that ask my body to return to the edge?”

The reason this class is so powerful, and we ask our bodies to go to our edge is simple. Surrender also takes us to our emotional edge. What can we let go of? What can we let dissipate so that we are free to breathe, think, shine our light? What can we let go of that no longer serves us?

I had no idea Surrender yoga was going to prove so powerful for me. And yet, it is…each and every class. My body is able to get into the poses with modifications, however, there is nothing modifying about my thoughts. In the beginning, I had to remind myself to stay present-also part of yoga-and then gradually, my thoughts stayed in the present moment. I have learned to surrender more thoughts, beliefs and ideas than I can count. Glad to report that I now understand why people love this class and why the classes are packed. I have greater clarity in a number of life areas-thanks to Surrender yoga classes.

Which is all to say, the instructors remind us that part of the point of yoga is to take our practice OFF the mat.

Easier said than done.

If I had an avatar hands down, it would be Wonder Woman. For many years, Wonder Woman got me through. Wonder Woman helped me stay grounded and away from the edge. I visualized her when in tough situations. I had boots on the ground, shield ready, bracelets on. I envisioned my Warriors behind me for strength, wisdom and wonder.

Brave, empowered, strong. Kind, loving, compassionate. Our version of Wonder Woman is just that. But does she drive in the snow?

So, when I was asked to drive on possibly slick roads one weekend in January, I was back at that edge. Honestly, I didn’t know if I could do it. I thought of every excuse in the book. I hoped the weather would warm and the snow and ice would miss us.

It snowed.

And iced.

Roads were plowed and yet, I was still out of my comfort zone. Could I do this?

In the car, I reminded myself to breathe. I relaxed. I put on music.

It was scary to drive these hills and inclines in dry, sunny weather. I was assured the roads were okay on the hills that I had just driven for the very first time. Both in daylight and the dark.

Making it to my destination, I casually informed my host that I didn’t drive well in the snow and ice, and I was planning to leave early.

Seriously I was going to leave someplace very fun and comfortable because I was nervous about driving these roads in the dark and possibly icy weather.

I decided to compromise with myself. I would not stay late, and I wouldn’t leave too early.

About 7:30 I decided to try it. I put on a brave face, coat, gloves and ear warmer.

Taking my yoga practice off the mat, I drove slowly as I made my way down the hills. They were still clear and not icy. There was a beautiful moon lighting the roads. Talking aloud, I told myself that I could do this.

And I did.

Arriving home, I was beyond proud and feeling empowered that I had challenged myself. Going to the edge, makes us stronger and helps us realize that we can do other hard things. The alternative is to close down. Instead, I let go of the belief and story that I could not drive in the snow and ice.

Driving on less than perfect roads in the dark showed me how much I have learned to trust myself. Boots on the ground. Brave, empowered, strong. Expect good. Sparkle On!

 

 

 

About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.

2 Comments

  1. Liz on January 19, 2022 at 9:55 am

    This brings tears to my eyes, both for hearing of your vulnerable sharing of your feelings during this journey through new yoga and icy roads AND it reminds me of where I need to believe in myself, to allow even an inkling of bravery to encourage me forward. Thank you so much, Pam!



    • Pam Wilson on January 19, 2022 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you for reading! We are all brave in our own ways. And your bravery has inspired me!