I took some time off this month to play in the snow.

I’m sharing this video because it relates so well with many of the emotions that Brene Brown discusses in her new book, Atlas of the Heart.

My husband, Chris, and I were in Beaver Creek at the top of the mountain when the fog rolled in. It had already been snowing, but this was new for me. Suddenly, you couldn’t see 5 feet in front of you. At that point, I was ready to call it quits for the day.

Chris: “Why?”

Me: “Because you can’t see where you’re going.

Chris (laughing): “We’ve been on these runs several times. You know the trail.”

Reluctantly, I hop onto the lift with him to go up again. Chris tells me to wait because he is going to set up his phone to take a video of me riding through the fog. When you watch the video, you may feel peace, calm, solitude, or even fun. Go ahead, give it a watch!

What I felt, which I didn’t have the language to describe until I listened to Atlas of the Heart, was fear, wonder, and awe.

On our last trip, we met a new friend who is a ski instructor. We rode together, and he commented on how good we were. Chris’s response was the first time I had heard anyone really describe my riding. He said, “Wendy is very methodical and controlled,” and our new friend agreed. I had never given much thought to how I ride other than that I don’t have a need to go fast. I love just basking in the wonder of the snow, sky, and mountain. Here I am literally just taking it in. I can lose myself here.


Wendy Fong sitting on the slopes – It was just this beautiful – This picture has not been edited.

Typically, when I ride down the mountain, I catch myself smiling going all the way down. I’m in awe of both the beauty of the scenery and how very fortunate I am to be alive and doing what I love. That day in the fog, though, brought out something I hadn’t considered – fear. For those of us who like to be in control, we really hate it when we lack visibility.

We can’t run businesses effectively when we don’t have visibility (or a pulse) into our people, our processes, or our finances. There’s no way to forecast! Just like in this situation, we sometimes need a little push. We need people who are so confident in our abilities that it’s laughable when they hear that you think you can’t (or shouldn’t) do something. We need to try something new, something different…and maybe go a little faster.