My ambition seemed to have gotten the better part of reason as I stared down that scary slope in front of me.
“People ski down that?!?” I muttered, as I contemplated this terrifying prospect.

I was 23 and, having grown up a poor flat-lander, had never tried downhill skiing. But my friends had convinced me of the fun I could have on the ski slopes and here was my chance.
Darwell was just a tiny ski area outside my new Red Deer home. A perfect place to try it for the first time, I’d been assured. But staring down this (green) slope at, perhaps, a thousand feet of tilted, slippery terrain? What had I gotten myself into?
But, heh, here I was, I’d paid to attach skis to my feet, and there was only one way down. (You can’t really go down-slope on a T-bar.)
“Snow-plow,” they’d told me. “Keep your ski tips pointed inward, to start slowly.”
“OK, I’d try that.” Pointing them radically inward, I immediately fell over, as I tried to gradually start moving. I picked myself up, three feet further down the slope, and tried again. Same result.
I picked myself up again. Evidently, I’d pointed them too tightly together. You can’t side-slip all the way down a green run. Especially at such dangerous angles.
Gently, I moved my skis to where they were a little more parallel to each other.
And then, suddenly, I was off!
It was awesome! The wind breezed through my hair (yes, I still had some back then) and the cold slapped me in the face. But I felt free as a bird as I “raced,” almost effortlessly, to the bottom of that hill. And I never fell.


I jumped back onto the T-bar and went up for more. . . . And more, and more! It was a great day!
I’ve skied many times since, and advanced far beyond green runs, on mountains many multiples the size of that tiny ski area.
But that incident will always stay in my mind because it is such a great metaphor for life. It so well illustrates the first tenuous steps toward success at anything on which we embark.
So many people are held back from their dreams just because they’re scared to take the first baby steps to get started. Some think they have to have everything lined up and in place before they start. And so they never start. They are always planning, and never enacting those plans.
Others think the inertia just to get started is too great. Doing nothing is much more comfortable. And so they live far below their potential but are never really happy either with their status quo lives.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” wrote motivational coach Bob Molle, the only person to have won both an Olympic medal and a Grey Cup. It’s the only way we will ever reach our goals.
Sometimes we just need to get off our fannies, uncomfortable as that might seem at the moment, to take a first step toward the realization our dreams. Even if the final goal seems ominously far away, without that first crazy step into the wild unknown, we will never discover the satisfaction of achievement.
The risk is, more often than not, worth it.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .
Rent 2 Own tip
The Fraser Valley real estate market is currently very hot. Sometimes buyers are bidding up the price of a property in order to get it. This is what is known as a “Sellers’ market.” In these circumstances, houses appreciate rapidly.
On one hand, this is good news for rent-to-own purchases because the R2O model depends on an appreciating market for success. It means that, as long as the market continues the upward climb throughout the term of the rent-to-own, the tenant-buyer will have great value at the end.
On the other hand, though, it makes buying more difficult because it may be hard to find a good investment. One cannot get caught paying too much for a property because then, should the market not maintain that appreciating curve, the tenant-buyer may get caught with a property that has not reached its anticipated value.
It means everyone on the team, the R2O operator, the realtor and the tenant-buyer must work together to ensure a good investment is made at the beginning.

Quote of the Week:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
– Nelson Mandela