Lessons from the Mountain

January 24, 2017
By Andrewgonk98 BRONZE, Northbobrough, Massachusetts
Andrewgonk98 BRONZE, Northbobrough, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Skiing has always had an impact on me. Growing up a skier was the best thing that ever could have happened. At a young age I experienced one of the greatest feelings in the world, the joy of taking my ski boots off at the end of the day. No matter what the ski conditions were, my feet would always feel amazing once I put on my shoes. The only thing that can almost match this is the joy of waking up, looking out my  window to see that it's freshly snowed, and know that I’m going skiing.

 

I’m lucky to experience these feelings quite often. Working at a small, local ski hill has its benefits. The free lift ticket is a major perk. I get to ski seven days a week while there's snow, and this gives me the opportunity to take off my ski boots every single day.


My passion for skiing is something that I love to share with others. Working at the hill I meet lots of different people and they often times love the sport after I'm done teaching them. The differences in learning styles, age, and general balance skills varies with every lesson. The best lesson I ever taught was to a kid named Ryan.  Ryan was a seven year old with autism. He had taken a few lessons the year before so he knew how to put on his skis, but not much more. Distracted by the other kids doing jumps, it was tough to keep his attention. When I noticed what he was looking at I asked him if he wanted to jump. He responded with an enthusiastic yes and from there on he was mine. He quickly gained the skills to take the chairlift and eventually we made it to the trail jumps. We looked down the trail, and I told him how proud of him I was for learning enough to get to this point. He went, and as he made it up the jump he didn't realize that he needed speed to help him. He would always wedge to a stop at the top, and the look of disappointment on his face made me more determined to get him to jump. We met several more times and at the end of each lesson we would try the jump.  Finally, after eight lessons and countless attempts at the jump, it was the end of the season and our last lesson. He made sure his mom was at the base of the mountain watching him. I gave him one last bit of advice and he was off. When he started off the jump he kept his skis straight and got the couple of inches of air he was looking for. He was so happy. The next season I ran into him again. That year I wasn't his instructor but I knew who was his instructor so I told them to hit the jump. I was glad I could share my love of skiing with someone who might end up loving the sport more than I do.
 



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