8:02 a.m. Saturday. It’s still dark, as usual, on these cold, winterdays. Everybody else is still sleeping and enjoying the comfprting heat oftheir beds. I crack open the locked window by my bed, an act some deemeddownright idiotic. I strip off my pj’s, throw on my robe, and head for theshower.
Drying off, I think about where I am about to go. I dress piece bylayered piece. I can’t wait to hit the slopes! I round up my tools: body,boards, boots, bindings. Everything is in working order and ready for take-off. As I open the front door, I am shocked by the cold and fight my waythrough the wind to my car. I turn the key and put the heater on full blast.I am almost there.
I step out of my car and survey the parking lot. Not too many cars.That’s the way I like it. I take a deep breath and savor the frsh air.Already, I can feel the pressure of deadlines lifted off my chest. I strap myskis on, and prepare not just to tackle a run but other situations in my lifeas well. I skate over to the first pitch of the double diamond slope, and mapout where I will take the first couple turns. It is almost like I amassessing my goals in life: getting accepted into Syracuse, owning a house inColorado, raising a healthy family.
I appreciate the sound of carving the first turn as if it was my verylast. The crunching of the snow under my feet empowers me to crush theantagonists in my everyday life. The second and third turns secure my self-confidence. Only with the fourth turn do I start to realize that things arenot always that easy.
I heard it said often, “It’s easier said than done.” I never believed ituntil now. I only skid slightly over a patch of ice, but it is enough tostart my heart thumping. I am suddenly aware that to finish this run or toreach my goals, I have to be ready for the tricky spots. I know that at anymoment I could fall and be forced to start over. My lifetime goals can beaffected by any number of things – grades slipping, drugs and alcohol – and Ihave to be ready to handle anything.
I clear my mind of all fear and continue through turns, but with morecaution. Once the focus of my goal is on track, I persevere to attain it. Iquickly aquire my rhythm. I become more determined. Now, I take sharper,shorter turns. I glide swiftly toward the chairlift just now appearing in mysights. I know that through hard work I can achieve these realistic goals! Iam almost there!
I thrill at the prospect of conquering this hill. I feel proud of myself.I am gratified to know that I can accomplish a goal endurance. I can achievedespite the many ice patches I encounter. I ride the lift back to my car. Ionly came for one run, the run to help me survive the week. I drive homegrinning ear to ear.