8:02 a.m. Saturday. It’s still dark, as usual, on these cold, winter days. Everybody else is still sleeping and enjoying the comforting heat of their beds. I crack open the locked window by my bed, an act some deemed downright idiotic. I strip off my pajamas, throw on my robe, and head for the shower.
Drying off, I think about where I am about to go. I dress piece by layered piece. I can’t wait to hit the slopes! I round up my tools: body, boards, boots, and 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 way through 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 fresh air. Already, I can feel the pressure of deadlines lifted off my chest. I strap my skis on, and prepare not just to tackle a run but other situations in my life as well. I skate over to the first pitch of the double diamond slope, and map out where I will take the first couple turns. It is almost like I am assessing my goals in life: getting accepted into Florida State, owning a house some day, raising a healthy family.
I appreciate the sound of carving the first turn as if it was my very last. The crunching of the snow under my feet empowers me to crush the antagonists 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 are not always that easy.
I heard it said often, “It’s easier said than done.” I never believed it until now. I only skid slightly over a patch of ice, but it is enough to start my heart thumping. I am suddenly aware that to finish this run or to reach my goals, I have to be ready for the tricky spots. I know that at any moment I could fall and be forced to start over. My lifetime goals can be affected by any number of things – grades slipping, drugs and alcohol – and I have to be ready to handle anything.
I clear my mind of all fear and continue through turns, but with more caution. Once the focus of my goal is on track, I persevere to attain it. I quickly acquire my rhythm. I become more determined. Now, I take sharper, shorter turns. I glide swiftly toward the chairlift just now appearing in my sights. I know that through hard work I can achieve these realistic goals! I am 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 achieve despite the many ice patches I encounter. I ride the lift back to my car. I only came for one run, the run to help me survive the week. I drive home grinning ear to ear.