Just a few days away now from my own first New Start of the year: learning to cross country ski in Lapland.

As a coach I like the idea of trying new activities, going for something new and enjoying adventures that aren't necessarily related to the swim, bike, run or triathlon challenges I'm used to.  At the very least it helps keep attuned to the mix of feelings that most of us have when we venture into an untried activity.

will it be as cool as this?

will it be as cool as this?

Last year this included doing a big four day trek in a remote part of Brazil called Chapada Diamantina, which was awesome.  This year its to an extreme opposite in terms of climate and landscape, going to Yllas in Lapland, high up within the Arctic Circle.

Last year's big adventure - that's what we climbed the day before

Last year's big adventure - that's what we climbed the day before

So what do I feel?  A big mix of:

  • excitement - after years of people encouraging me to give it a go I'm finally getting a chance and it looks so much fun;
  • self-doubt and uncertainty - not knowing if I'll be any good, whether I'll learn as quickly and easily as they claim or be an awkward, uncoordinated no-hoper, whether I've got the right kit for a week at -20c;
  • hopeful and inquisitive anticipation - what's it going to be like and how will it feel to move over snow (having never skied before)?  will we see the Northern Lights and what's the food going to be like?

I guess I also have a sense that I've entrusted myself to people I've never met before.

In this respect it makes me think how special it is when people seek my help in their New Starts - the hesitant and nervous novices on a mountain bike, those braving their fear of water with a determination to swim (but believing they're more likely to sink) or going for their first ever triathlon and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

And the coach's voice in me gently reminds me that there's nothing to prove to anyone, so be kind and generous to myself as I like to be to others and really enjoy the experience.

Watch out for the next blog and FaceBook posts! 'Meantime, many thanks to all the ZigZag Alive customers for entrusting me with your challenges.