family, Finding Strength, Fitness, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Meditation, Mindset, Podcast, Relationships, Spiritual, Wisdom

Mother’s Day Lessons


There are many lessons to learn from our own mothers and from other mothers, too. Most importantly, we discover the kind of mother we’d like to be if we were blessed to have children of our own. In my 54 years on this planet, I’ve seen a variety of parenting styles, and even, sadly, lack of parenting. It only makes me appreciate the incredible sacrifices made by my mother, and the lessons I learned from being a mother.

I’m blown away by working women who raise two, three, even more children without a staff and without losing their patience. Certainly, there are times that we all lose our composure. When my son was just a baby and we were on a plane trip, he was cranky and it’s no wonder. It’s not natural for babies to be in confined areas, have their ears pop from the air pressure change and want to be in their comfy cribs rather than surrounded by strangers. My child had to be changed so I created a make-shift diaper station on the floor in the aisle of the 757 jet. During that, um, procedure, my infant decided that was the time to urinate. Let’s just say the people nearby weren’t all that elated. We all try to do the best we can. There’s no foolproof handbook for mothers. Ask four moms how to potty train and you’ll most likely get four different answers.

Many mothers desperately try to shield their children from disappointments and injustices, from hurt feelings and scraped knees. When Rocco was seven years old, I enrolled him in the YMCA swimming program. In my youth, I had been a state champion swimmer and wanted to make sure I passed down that trait. I gave my son a few extra tips and put him in the hands of a competent and successful coach. After a few months of practice, we entered Rocco in a Novice swim meet. It was an opportunity for children who had never swam competitively to learn about the rules and procedures of a swim meet. It was exciting for me as a mother, to watch my son go through the anticipation and excitement leading up to the race. When the kids were called to get on their starting blocks, my stomach did a flip-turn and my heart thumped thunderously in my chest, as if I was the one to swim for the first time. An official called the children to attention with a loud and deafening command that I had heard many times before, “Swimmers, take your mark…” and then came the powerful sound of the starter gun blasting.

The stands were filled with anxious parents and grandparents hoping their kids would be the one to come home with a first place trophy, but there could only be one. Rocco’s reflexes were quick and he attacked the water with the skill and command of an older, more experienced athlete. The joy and elation I felt watching my son follow in my footsteps – or strokes – was both exhilarating and tense.

Was he swimming too fast to keep that pace for two laps?

So many things raced through my mind…

Maybe he should have had eggs instead of cereal for breakfast.

Wow! He could actually win!

Rocco’s drive and determination during his months of practice paid off, big time! Before a couple of kids even made it to the end of the first lap, Rocco finished the second lap and won! To see the smile and joy on his face was priceless. It was an achievement that could give him the confidence to continue swimming, and set him up to succeed in other areas of his life.

The elation, however, was short-lived.

After the race was over, Rocco’s coach and other swimmers congratulated him on his first place win, but when we went to pick up his trophy, we were severely disappointed. Although there was no denying that Rocco finished first, he was not given the first place trophy or any trophy. The reason we were given was quite unfair and unjust.

“Rocco swam too fast and it wasn’t fair to the other children,” said the official in charge.

Instead of coming home with a trophy and the confidence that his hard work paid off, Rocco was given a stack of comic books. Seriously.

Part of me wanted to scream and yell about the injustice of it all (ok, truthfully, I did a little). Here was a child who followed the rules, he had never swam competitively, but just happened to be better than the others. Apparently being too good was unfair to the kid who came in last.

Life isn’t fair…

…is one of the many things I learned from my mother. She taught me how to be kind and compassionate, to give to others when they are in need. I remember visiting my grandfather who had Parkinson’s disease. My mother would take off his shoes and rub his feet. She was and is always available to help a friend move or to plant flowers for someone or to be a cheerleader in the stands at my swim meets. She taught me how to be a mother, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother and all the moms who give so freely of their time to their children and who constantly remind us of what it means to love unconditionally.

Check out Shemane’s podcast “This Rockin’ Life” available on iTunes http://shemanenugent.rocks/podcast/

Happiness, Inspiration, Success, Wisdom

Dinner with the President

Ted Nugent, President Donald Trump, Shemane Nugent. Official White House Photo By Shealah Craighead

President Trump walked into the Oval Office and we all held our breath. It’s not every day that you get to spend the evening with the president of the United States. With the Secret Service flanking him, our Commander-In-Chief showed off his dazzling smile and did something none of us expected.

He picked up a guitar and started strumming.

The president of rock ‘n roll presents a guitar to the President of the United States. Official White House Photo By Shealah Craighead

My husband, Ted Nugent, and I, were invited by Governor Sarah Palin, along with Kid Rock, his fiancé Audrey, and several of Governor Palin’s friends, including daughter Willow, to have dinner with President Trump.

Official White House Photo By Shealah Craighead

It was truly a monumental moment. President Trump was beyond gracious, giving us a detailed tour of White House grounds, the Oval Office, and even the Lincoln bedroom.

personal tour by President Trump. Photo courtesy Governor Sarah Palin

The dinner was spectacular with lobster salad, lamb, roasted vegetables and Baked Alaska, in honor of Alaska’s former governor Sarah Palin.  President Trump even signed Ted’s menu to auction and raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Waco tonight!

President Trump told us he was grateful for what people like Sarah and Ted did for him when he was campaigning and simply wanted to show his appreciation by inviting Sarah and her friends.

 

 

The conversation was intense and lively, but when my husband started tapping the plate with his fork like he does at home when he really, really likes the food, I gave him one of those don’t you dare looks, and he quickly stopped.

We capped off the night with a tour of the Press Room by Sean Spicer.

 

We topped it off with a nightcap at the Hotel George, in Georgetown.

#crew

 

Coco
Emotional Wellbeing, family, Finding Strength, Happiness

Coco

She would have been 22 years old, but I never mourned her until now. Life gets in the way, you know? I’ve been busy raising my son Rocco, who is now 26, and helped to raise two of my stepchildren, Sasha and Toby, although they were nearly adults when I married their father. Five other step-children came into my life, Fleetwood, Starr, Louisa, Heather and Chantal but we only visit once or twice a year. This morning when I Googled “how to do music.ly” a social media site that marries lip sync and dance, I found a tutorial of a young girl teaching her mother. And I cried. Through the awkwardness and the banter, it is obvious the mother and daughter are very close. Thirty seconds into the eight minute video, the mom cannot contain her pride and hugs the young girl, while her daughter pushes away, smiling. The mother says “I love her. I love her so much! This is my only chance to get to hug her…” Although likely embarrassed, as any teenager teaching a parent how to lip-sync to a rap video would be, it is clear they have fun together. They giggle, and playfully tease each other as the mom tries to learn this new technology and be “hip”. I know…., my son will be embarrassed I used that archaic word.

It was then that suddenly, after more than two decades, I realized I missed her and I never even knew her. I missed having a close sibling for Rocco, and another child of my own. I would have named her Coco, because, yes, I like Chanel, but also because it rhymes with Rocco. I wonder what they would have been like as brother and sister. I wonder what it would have been like to have a daughter I could tease and learn from, and hug. Would she be embarrassed by my selfies, clothing choices and attempts to lip sync and dance? What would she teach me, I wondered.

On those crazy-long information sheets required to fill out at the doctor’s, I have to acknowledge that I have been pregnant twice, but only delivered one child. I have to check the box for ectopic, or tubal pregnancy. It never, ever bothered me until now.

Like many women who’ve had miscarriages, I felt all the symptoms of pregnancy for weeks. It’s hard to deny the hormonal changes that occur in the body; breast tenderness, fatigue, and a sudden aversion to certain foods. I’d endured it all before when I was pregnant with my son. The most important symptom was, of course, my intuition. I knew that there was a tiny human growing inside me. And I knew it was a girl.

On a ski trip with my father, son and husband, Ted, I woke up one morning with incredible pain in my abdomen. I immediately wondered if I had food poisoning. An hour after the initial cramping started, I was bent over in pain. I knocked on my dad’s hotel room door and told him I wasn’t feeling well. My husband was going to drive my son and I home. We had a couple of good ski days already. Maybe I was over-doing it and needed some rest.

It was only thirty minutes into the four-hour drive home that I realized the pain was becoming extraordinarily severe. In fact, I thought I was going to die.

We found a nearby hospital and I was admitted immediately. “I’m pregnant,” I said through sobs. At that moment, I started to realize what was at stake: a life. Maybe two. Hundreds of women still die during pregnancy-related deaths every year in the United States.

The ER doctor said surgery was imminent and urgent and that I would lose one of my fallopian tubes and the fetus, the baby. The human. The soul. While I was being wheeled into the operating room, as if in a movie, Ted and Rocco told me they loved me and they’d be waiting for me.

Was this really happening? The pain subverted my attention from the fact that I would no longer be pregnant. What does that mean? Where does she go? Perhaps I’d never be able to have another child. Maybe I will die.

After the surgery, I woke up in the maternity ward. Couldn’t they find another place for me? I heard women screaming during childbirth, and then..babies crying… The pain prevented me from thinking about it too much.

The phone in my room rang. Although I was still groggy from the procedure, I struggled to answer it. “Is Ted there?” A woman asked. She said she heard that Ted Nugent’s wife was in surgery there and that she was a big fan. I hung up. Seriously?

And then it was over. Life got in the way.

I returned home and went through the motions of raising Rocco, going to Toby’s basketball games and Sasha’s volleyball games, and being my husband’s wife. Years passed and I continued to write the number “2” in the doctor forms inquiring about how many pregnancies I’d had.

I never sulked. I never cried about the life that was lost.

Until now.

Now, I wonder what kind of video tutorials I would have done with Coco. What career path she would have taken.

I miss her.

And I never had a chance to hug her.

5 Tips to Shape Up for Summer
Fitness, Happiness, Inspiration, Nutrition, Wellness

5 Tips to Shape Up for Summer

I hesitated long and hard about posting a photo of myself in a bikini at age 54, but I’ve paid my dues – in the form of sweat equity. I’ve worked hard at getting in – and staying in shape, and I’ve tried just about every diet imaginable. There will be haters who will say I’m not in the best shape, and they’re right, but I’m beyond thrilled that I can fit into a two-piece swimsuit and qualify for an AARP card at the same time!

The truth is, I’ve struggled with my weight nearly all my life – starving myself and wasting money on stupid diets and every imaginable exercise – from step, to Spinning, to slide, to kickboxing, Zumba, yoga and everything in between. All for the sole purpose of looking “ok” in a bikini. Trust me, I knew I’d never be a fitness model, or any type of model, I just didn’t want to embarrass myself if I had to jump in a pool at a party, if that ever happened.

But there’s another reason why I did it.

If you’re interested in my fitness and nutrition tips I’m happy to share. If you want to know what provoked me, read through to the end.

1. Be Selfish. Although I’ve been a group fitness instructor for more than thirty-five years, I can think of an absurd amount of excuses for why I don’t have time to exercise: There is work to do, errands to run, dust bunnies to vacuum, and Netflix shows to watch – (have you seen The OA or The Crown?!) The one thing that people with amazing physiques like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, J-Lo, and other well-chiseled celebrities have in common is that they put in the time – they do the work – a LOT of it. If you really want to get in shape, spend an hour a day, five days a week exercising. At least. Many of us who are parents put the needs of our children first while sacrificing our own health. Of course, I’m not suggesting to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but carving out even a measly few minutes every day for YOU can make a significant change in your body, keep you healthier, happier, and teach your kids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re an empty-nester, like me, it feels a little strange to put quality self-care at the forefront of your life, especially if you’ve spent twenty, thirty or even forty years taking care of others.

But you need to….

2. Schedule It. Make an appointment with yourself as if you had a doctor’s appointment and would be charged if you failed to show. Schedule time every single day to focus on planning healthy meals, snacks, and exercise. Four minutes a day can be the motivation you need to make significant change in your life. The secret is that four minutes can turn into 10, 20, 30 minutes or more. You have to start somewhere. Make a commitment and stick to it!

What exercises are the best?

3. Do Something, ANYTHING. It doesn’t matter what the exercise is or how well it works for others, if you don’t like to do it, chances are you won’t do it. However, you have to suck it up and do something, anything every day! Get in the gym, swim, bike or dance! Find the thing that makes your heart sing and you’ll do it more often. Make sure you combine these three elements in your weekly fitness regime: strength training, cardiovascular training and stretching. Working out at least 30 minutes a day five days a week is optimal. Obviously, a little more goes along way in this case. Take a look at HIIT Training: High-Intensity Interval Training is short bursts of intense cardiovascular training combined with small pockets of working-recovery, usually strength training, that will sculpt muscles and leave you sweaty in a short period of time. Many professional athletes and celebrities are using HIIT training. Mix it up! Dance, swim, walk, bike, lift weights, play with your kids or your dog. Anything to get moving! It’s important to strike your muscles in different ways to prevent injuries, increase flexibility and maintain cardiovascular fitness, decrease stress and increase bone density. Increase the intensity, duration and frequency with which you work out. Work out harder, longer, or faster!

What about food?

4. Trash the Junk. All the greatest workouts in the world won’t give you a lean and toned body if you’re only eating pop tarts, cheeseburgers and sodas. Fuel your body with superfood nutrition. Having struggled with my weight all my life, I think I have it figured out after 54 years of searching. I’ve gained and lost over one hundred pounds throughout the decades, but finally, I am at a weight with which I am happy. No starving or denying myself either! I have boundless energy, no cravings during that three p.m. lull, and yet I still have ice cream, cake and chips (on occasion). I owe it all to Isagenix. The system has simplified my life, while giving me incredible vitality and made losing that last ten pounds easy. Is the system a magic pill? For me, it sure does seems like it. For the first time in my life, I’m at my goal weight and have tons of energy throughout my day – especially during workouts.

For more information on the products that have changed my life, click on this link.

And finally….

5 Tips to Shape Up for Summer5. Take a Selfie. Take a photo of yourself in just your undies. Is there something you don’t like? Guess who can change that?You can! Find a photo of someone who has a figure that is similar to what you’d like to achieve. Put your selfie next to your goal photo. During the next 30 days, look at the two pictures every morning and whenever you’re hangry (hungry + angry). Imagining the future can be a very potent prescription for positive change! Isagenix has a program called the ISA Body Challenge, which gives you daily motivation and inspiration to stick to your goals and get in shape.

With nearly half of the American population dancing toward obesity, and health-care costs sky-rocketing, staying physically fit isn’t just about looking good, it’s about feeling good, too. We can’t afford to take our health for granted, as those of us who’ve had life-threatening illnesses know.

Why I did it.

Fifteen years ago I was sucking on oxygen, barely able to crawl up a flight of stairs. Looking good in a bikini was not even a consideration. Living through the day, was. Having suffered with pre-emphysema caused by toxic mold exposure, I remember thinking once that I just wanted to be healthy enough to watch my son’s track meet. There was a time when the simple process of getting dressed, leaving the house, driving a car and climbing up outdoor bleachers was unthinkable. Now, I can run up and down the bleachers, and that’s all that really matters. So, now that I think of it, the best part of the bikini photo for me is the smile on my face. If you’re not healthy, you can’t be happy, and that’s really all that matters.

Podcast

005: 7 Steps on How to Fight at Cold

This Week’s Episode:

My husband, Ted Nugent, recently went on a trip and got sick.  I know that prevention is key to keeping sickness away.  I doubled up on my vitamins and made sure I got my greens.  Well, a few weeks later, Ted got sick again and this time, I wasn’t so vigilant.  I let my guard down and caught his cold!

In this episode, you are going to hear my seven steps on how to fight a cold.  Sure, it’s best not to get sick at all, but sometimes it happens, and these steps will help you recover from the illness.  For more information like I shared with you today, pick up my book, 4 Minutes a Day, Rock ‘n Roll Your Way to Happy: Be Happier, Healthier, More Prosperous, and Life the Life of Your Dreams

You’ll Learn:

  • [00:34] – Ted recently went on a trip and came home sick with a cold.  After recovering, he got sick again!
  • [02:03] – Step #1:  Note the day you first have symptoms. Write down the symptoms and when you first noticed them.
  • [02:36] – Step #2: Check with your doctor on the 2nd or 3rd day you have the symptoms of a cold. 
  • [03:25] – Step #3: REST!  Get caught up on some Netflix.
  • [04:54] – Step #4: Wipe down every surface.  This keeps you from reinfecting yourself and others in your household.
  • [05:11] – Step #5: REST!
  • [05:26] – Step #6: Be proactive with chicken soup, Kleenex, honey and lemon, chamomile tea, cough lozenges, and whiskey. 
  • [06:47] – Step #7: Don’t work out.
Podcast

004: Understanding Functional Medicine with Dr. Pamela Hughes

This Week’s Episode:

Dr. Pamela Hughes joins me on this episode of This Rockin’ Life.  I really enjoyed speaking with Pamela and I think you will get a lot out of our discussion.

In this conversation, you will hear Pamela’s backstory and how she ended up in Florida. She also explains how her husband’s injury led to her interest in functional medicine.  Pamela shares the joy that receives by getting people off drugs and getting them to feel well without that medication.  You will hear Pamela and I talk about the toxins we are putting our bodies and how techniques that The Hughes Center for Functional Medicine uses, like IV minerals and cleansing/detoxing through Isagenix can help people get healthy. 

Connect with Dr. Pamela Hughes:

The Hughes Center for Functional Medicine

You’ll Learn:

  • [00:40] – Pamela explains how she ended up in Naples, Florida.
  • [01:50] – Pamela describes herself.  She is determined and has a passion for people and medicine. This is a path that started in 8th grade.
  • [04:21] – I share how Pamela and I met. 
  • [05:17] – Pamela shares her experience in the military. This led to her interest in functional medicine. She describes her husband’s recovery through functional medicine.
  • [08:33] – We talk about the reasons to drink water out of glass.  We also discuss the dangers of chemicals that seem into the food and beverages we drink.
  • [11:29] – IV minerals are incredibly beneficial. I receive those treatments when I visit the Hughes Center and Pamela shares why these treatments are important. 
  • [15:30] – Pamela discusses stress and the seriousness of having stress in your life. 
  • [17:20] – Pamela and I share the products that we’ve recently started and how those are affecting our lives.
  • [22:05] – Pamela shares some of the common symptoms they treat at the Hughes Center for Functional Medicine.  Pamela talks about a wellness program she is putting together. 
  • [26:04] – Pamela explains why she likes to see people when they are healthy. 
  • [27:28] – Pamela talks about Isagenix, cleansing and detoxing.
  • [29:43] – Pamela shares the results she’s experienced with Isagenix.
Podcast

003: Become MindLESS, not MindFUL, with Dr. Kapil Gupta


Subscribe Free: iTunes | Google Play | Android

This Week’s Episode:

Dr. Kapil Gupta joins me on this episode. Dr. Gupta is a personal advisor to celebrities and professional athletes who want to take their lives and performances to the next level.

In this conversation, we discuss Dr. Gupta’s new book, Atmamum and his philosophies.  You will hear Dr. Gupta explain why he believes in mindlessness and he explains how this is where “the zone” is.  He also shares his opinion on the formulaic recipe tendencies of modern-day culture.  Dr. Gupta’s comments on parenting are interesting and you’re going to want to hear his thoughts.  This conversation has changed my life and I hope it gives you a new perspective on yours.

Connect with Dr. Kapil Gupta:

Website: http://www.kapilguptamd.com/

Email: kapil@kapilguptamd.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KapilGuptaMD

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KapilGuptaMD

You’ll Learn:

  • [01:30] – When asked to describe himself, Dr. Gupta calls himself a “fascinating student of life.”
  • [02:25] – Dr. Gupta shares his background and explains how his early life shaped his philosophies.
  • [03:47] – Dr. Gupta works with professional athletes. He explains that the higher the stage, the more need there is for the kind of support he provides.
  • [05:35] – Dr. Gupta explains how he works with professional athletes. Though his own experimentation, he discovered what “the zone” is.
  • [10:34] – Dr. Gupta says that formulaic tendencies of modern-day culture leads to mediocrity.
  • [12:30] – Dr. Gupta does not believe it’s difficult to block things out. He explains that “difficulty is only possible when one feels that he has a choice.”
  • [18:40] – In his book, Dr. Gupta says that parents don’t really love their children and parenting is a burden. He explains these comments.  He discusses the difference between love and attachment.
  • [23:40] – Dr. Gupta says, “The ability to curb involuntary thought is the pathway to achieving everything you want in your life.” He goes on to share his thoughts on mindfulness. He feels that we are at our best when we are mindless.
  • [31:44] – If you are just starting out with meditating, Dr. Gupta shares some recommendations.
  • [34:49] – Dr. Gupta talks about the idea of competitiveness. He says that we operate at our best when we are relaxed.
  • [38:17] – Dr. Gupta says that he wishes we had a near-death experience once every three months. He explains this opinion.

 

Podcast

002: Ted Nugent: What Inspires and Motivates the Guitar Legend?


Subscribe Free: iTunes | Google Play | Android

This Week’s Episode:

You are probably quite familiar with my guest on this episode. Not only has he carved a permanent place in rock and roll history, but he’s also my husband.  Ted Nugent has sold more than 40 million albums and performed in more than 6,400 concerts, and still finds time to be an activist for the military and law enforcement.  He is the most outspoken proponent of our nation’s 1st and 2nd Ammendment rights.  I am thrilled to have him on this episode of This Rockin’ Life.

In this conversation, you will hear Ted Nugent share the opinions and beliefs that make him an inspiration to people all over the world.  Like everyone, Ted has been faced with obstacles and he has consistently made decisions that align themselves with the way he was raised. This has allowed him to overcome these barriers.  If you are feeling stuck in life, Ted gives you advice on how to be the rockstar of your life.

Connect with Ted Nugent:

Website: http://tednugent.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tednugent

You’ll Learn:

  • [01:52] – Ted describes how he sees himself, as an “independent shit-kicker”. He feels that he is what God had in mind when he created man in his image.
  • [04:31] – Ted has faced obstacles in life and he explains how he overcomes these obstacles while staying true to his overall philosophies though a level of awareness.
  • [07:28] – Ted explains why he has avoided drugs and alcohol.
  • [10:08] – If you are feeling stuck, Ted explains how to dream big and be the rockstar of your life. He encourages you to demand excellence from yourself.
  • [12:48] – Ted’s heroes are people that excel in their job. He lists a few people that he admires.

 

 

Podcast

001: Introduction to This Rockin’ Life!


Subscribe Free: iTunes | Google Play | Android

My love for radio began in 1980, when I was a newscaster at a college radio station, and then, I met my husband, Ted Nugent, when I was a traffic reporter at a rock’n roll radio station in Detroit. After getting married, raising a child and becoming an International Fitness Presenter, I still felt like something was missing in my life. 

I’m a seeker.  I want answers to the most important questions in life like, what’s my purpose in life….how can I be healthier, happier, more prosperous, and how can I eat chocolate cake and not gain a pound?  

Doesn’t everyone?

I love hearing about what makes people tick, how they got to where they are today, what inspires them, and what their successes and failures are.

This Rockin’ Life is an educational, enlightening and entertaining podcast that will encompass a variety of topics from experts that can help you live an amazing life – a Rockin Life!

Top of the mountain with my son Rocco and friend Danielle Russo-Slugh
Emotional Wellbeing, family, Happiness, Relationships

One Good Run

As I trudged through the hotel lobby with layers of long johns, two turtlenecks, a wool sweater, ski pants, gloves, helmet and a jacket, feeling like a sweaty Abominable Snowman with cement blocks for boots, I briefly questioned why I go through all this effort just to ski down a snow-capped mountain ten thousand feet above sea level. For those of you who don’t appreciate winter sports, it might seem as though the hours of preparation for snow skiing simply aren’t worth the payoff. The sub-freezing temperatures alone are enough to scare any cowboy.

Having been born and raised in Michigan, however, ice-skating, snowmobiling and skiing are in my blood. Growing up, my brother and I and all the neighborhood kids made igloos, snowmen and had serious snowball fights for hours in single digit temperatures. During the long, cold, depressing winter months in the Winter Water Wonderland, the big thrill was to climb up the side of a nearby bridge and ski down the side of the overpass which lasted a total of fifteen seconds, if you were slow. That’s how I learned to ski.

Your first time on skiis (or a snowboard) probably feels a lot like getting on a bucking bronco. Beyond the physical challenge, it’s just plain scary. Someone can tell you all day long to lean forward and point your skiis or snowboard down the hill and not to sit back in your boots, but when you’re standing on two slippery boards headed for the bottom, your body will think that’s an insane suggestion. Even if you’ve skied for decades, as I have, and you’re feeling pretty confident about your ability, you can get distracted for a second, cross your ski tips and bam! You’re suddenly tumbling down the hill somehow still attached to your skiis and poles, flying down the slope like a drunk Tazmanian Devil.

Now, I’m not intimidated by advanced runs (a black diamond) that are so steep you cannot see the bottom until you look over the edge, but there I was on a groomed Intermediate run (a blue square) taking a nasty spill that would have been hilarious on You Tube. As I laid there with snow down my pants, up my sleeves and all over my face, I actually laughed. A young snowboarder came by and asked if I was okay. I did a quick physical scan: arms and legs worked. I could tell because I felt the pain. “Yes,” I told him. “I’m okay, thanks.” He handed me my goggles that had flown off in the fall. I got up, brushed myself off, grabbed my ego that had suddenly been misplaced and headed down the mountain for more physical and mental anguish. Like any good adrenaline junky, I cannot get enough!

We ski for that one moment when everything comes together and turns the extraordinary effort into complete bliss. The sunshine warms your back as you dance down the slopes, knees close, hips making figure-eights, breathing the cleanest air imaginable. You glide effortlessly on top of the snow, feeling exhilarated, and that is the magic moment when you realize all the trouble is worthwhile. There is an unexplainable chemistry amidst the mountain air and your spirit, like a first kiss with someone special. A physiological reaction hijacks your heart and soul. You cannot imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else.

That’s what happens in one good run.

Hours after my laughable fall, I was lost in the glistening, snow-covered mountains. I ended up at the top of a double black diamond run (extraordinarily difficult) that I doubt Tom Cruise could ski down without stopping at least once. It was the only way down the mountain, so I pointed my skis toward the bottom and prayed to make it down alive. Taking my time, I traversed from one side of the slope to the other as that same young snowboarder who stopped to help me earlier flew by. Seconds later he was tumbling down the steep mountainside. I counted six times but I’m sure it was more. After the snow dust cleared, he laid face down in the snow, not moving. Sliding down toward him, I grabbed his hat that had flown off in his tumble and handed it to him. “You okay,” I asked. He looked up and smiled. “Yeah. Did you see that? It was awesome!”

Apparently there is more than one way to have a good run.