Race to College
“Racer ready? Racer go when ready.”
As I stand at the top of the hill, waiting behind the starting gate, I stare blankly at the crowd that’s watching, cheering, and screaming back at me.
One. I gather my thoughts, and stare down the monstrous course ahead of me. Two. I let the adrenaline rush through my veins. I hype myself up as I slam my skis down one foot after the other. Three. I’m off.
As I launch myself down the hill, I see the first. I have a mere two to three seconds to observe the conditions around me. Is the snow rutted? Is the snow icy? Is the snow perfect? I have seconds to prepare myself for the challenge. I pass the first gate. Not perfectly or smoothly, but I still got through it.
The second, the third, and the fourth gates pass and I’m headed for the next.
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I’m not prepared. The grass shows its evil green blades through the snow and grabs onto the bottom of my skis. I slow down and fall face first into the snow. What just happened? What do I do? I check to see if I’m alright. None of my skis fell off and no bones are broken. I can still finish this race.
I jump to my feet and start climbing back up to the gate I missed. As I go around it, I can see the finish line. I see my coach cheering me on; I hear my family screaming my name, and I watch my teammates at the bottom. Faster, I think. I need to finish this race. Determination shoots through me and I get a burst of energy. I go faster and faster and soon enough, I finished.
In those 25-30 seconds of racing down the hill, I observe and prepare. I fall down, examine my conditions, and get back up again. I climb back up the hill, and I think of the people I am making proud.
When I ski, I am faced with challenges and I need to assess what they are and how I can fix or avoid them. When I fail, I do not give up, and I do not quit. Instead, I get back up and try harder. And college is a lot like skiing.