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. 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.