D.R.: I can do that | VailDaily.com
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D.R.: I can do that

Don Rogers

Fundamental confidence just might be THE key to success in general.

You know this taking on that mogul field beyond your normal range. Believe you can, and you do a lot better. Pretend you believe you can, and you’ve got a chance to reach actual belief in yourself. Fake it till you make it. There’s something to that.

I thought this at a luncheon Tuesday at the Sonnenalp for Vail Valley Medical Center community advisory board members and guests. I was a guest. Elizabeth Chicoine invited me. Very nice of her.



The speaker was a trauma surgeon who moved up here from Denver and teamed up with partners to form Mountain Surgical Associates. Dr. Reginald Francoise showed about a decade-old video from the Denver emergency room he worked before moving to the mountains.

The guy is brash in an appealing way, no question. A “MASH” type of personality with obviously mad skills. The intro to the footage said he once had been a carpenter who reached a point he needed more from life, and so became a doc. Not just a doc, but an adrenaline-junkie emergency room doc. The film showed him sewing up a knife wound in a beating heart. Mad skills.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



The film oozed with the docs’ and nurses’ confidence as they dealt with their various emergencies. Through the blood and gore and all, that’s what I picked up.

This lined up with snowboarding recently with people much better than me. This week we capped a managers meeting on Vail Mountain with some runs.

I play too much basketball ” better, quicker aerobic workout ” and so have only been on the mountain a dozen times this season. These folks, they pretty much live up there. And their easy boarding and skiing showed it, that loose fluidity that comes with … confidence.



They went easy on me, dragging me down Gandy Dancer, one of the milder black bump runs that empties into Northwoods. Fun. I don’t mind tumbling, and I did some of that. But I really enjoyed the experiment with confidence. I can do this. Really. Just keep turning.

Last week I went to Beaver Creek with Shauna Farnell, Web ed for Plum TV and a former colleague in our newsroom. She covered the Winter Olympics last year for us and the three dozen or so other papers in the Swift Newspapers umbrella.

The liftie at Centennial rang up 78 for Shauna and 11 for me before I could wave her off. Off to Grouse Mountain. Same thing. Shauna loose and easy. Me, working on pretending I could believe, and working up to just turning on through. The snow was soft, thank goodness.

Practice, practice and practice some more. That’s part of it. But really all that leads to the “I can do this” confidence that makes the real difference in whatever you are doing. Or trying to do.

I think of sailing, a skill passed on, albeit incompletely, by my father. There reached a point where I didn’t need to think my way through the routines. They came “naturally” at some magical point when I no longer needed to try to remember them.

Driving might be the most common model fror what I’m trying to say. What starts out as overwhelming becomes routine. I’ve had reminders in recent years teaching my son and daughter, or rather watched them grow the confidence it takes to take on the road.

Firefighting, basketball, writing, working the office from my perch. The central part of all that is knowing I can do this, even when things don’t go so smoothly.

So, I know those damn moguls can be conquered. I even believe I could stitch a beating heart, with a little practice. I do.

All of us have so much potential in us. This keeps me from pigeon-holing myself or anyone else. We’re all capable. The hardest obstacle is what should be the easiest: Belief in ourselves.


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