I Believe In Skiing

I believe in skiing. Skiing to me is when all good things in life come together to create the perfect activity. Skiing uniquely offers the ability to combine family, learning, and having fun into something that cannot be found in conjunction anywhere else in life. Skiing also has taught me the valuable lessons of perseverance and leaving your comfort zone. One particular day at Winterpark, Colorado forever changed how I feel about skiing.

The day started out at the crack of dawn, a frigid January morning, as my family squeezed into our 1997 Mercury Cruiser minivan in the 7th grade. This would be my third time skiing. Both prior experiences I wound up in the lodge throwing up from dehydration and altitude sickness. I sat in the middle between my brother and sister, as the smallest of us always had to take the smallest seat. I was on the verge of running back inside to the safe confines of my warm bed, but this was one of the first times in years that my entire family had come together for something besides a holiday. I luckily avoided the glacial atmosphere of our minivan and subsequent bickering by snoozing off before we made it out of our neighborhood.

I woke up three hours later to family buzzing about the snow blanketing the landscape. My initial thoughts of regret had now doubled, as my fleece gloves and jacket would surely freeze given the freak snowstorm. I had my Dad drop me off in the lodge to gear up, in hopes to avoid freezing before we even entered the Summit Express lift-line. I was actually feeling healthy and warm, and had a sense of excitement rush through my body as my IPod clicked to play.

As we rode the lift up, what excitement I had felt earlier vanished as my fleece gloves froze in a matter of minutes. My hands started to lose sensation and the rest of my body went into shivers. I tried to not get frustrated, but my dad knew I was miserable and kindly traded me gloves. I was relieved, but nowhere near excited. I still wasn’t the most comfortable on skis, not to mention this was the first time I had skiied powder conditions. I was eager to not be outdone by my sister, and flew down the slope avoiding any signs of caution. I was caught up in the moment, once again having a blast. I flew over a ledge onto a black diamond, whirling down the mogul-faced hill like a surfer caught in a tsunami. I came out of the whirl, plastered in snow and missing my skis, helmet, and goggles. But for some reason I was not mad at all; I felt free and gave out a few hoots, while my family gathered my lost belongings. As I rode the lift up, I was excited for the upcoming runs, ignoring the numb sensation running throughout my body. As the lift approached the summit, we were greeted by the sun poking through the clouds, which later turned into blue skies. I quickly mastered powder skiing under the magnificent, blue, Colorado sky.

The feelings skiing creates for me provide motivation and have given me strength for perseverance that I can relate to my social life and academics. That day taught me the valuable lesson of leaving my comfort zone. Leaving my comfort zone enables me to learn new things which in return, makes me a more confident person. I now have the ability to succeed at most anything I put an effort to. That day helped change me from a shy, 7th grade, loner, into a so far, successful university student. Whenever I feel nervous about something, I know I can throw in my IPod and envision skiing, and overcome my anxieties. That day at Winterpark forever changed my perception of skiing. From something that invoked headaches and vomit, into something I can use to overcome fears; something I truly believe in.

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Evan M.