First Time Sledding

May 21, 2008
By Jordan Keener, Mount Joy, PA

First Time Sledding

Eagerly, I peered through my bedroom window, admiring the thick white canvas coating my back yard. Turning from the window, I exclaimed, "Daniel, are you ready yet?"

"Yes," my brother breathed, dragging a brightly colored orange sled behind him. "Let's go."

With anticipation, we stepped into cold, snow filled air. Undeterred by the knee high snow, Daniel and I trudged towards a small tree laden slope in the distance. As we finally reached the base of the incline, the pace of my heart increased. Nervously, I followed my brother to the top of the hill. I watched him as he whizzed down the slope, barely avoiding several trees. "Try it," he told me. Shaking my head, I declined his offer. Though sledding appeared fun, it also looked dangerous.

Time after time, however, he descended the mount with ease, increasing my confidence in the safety of the activity. After several more smooth runs down the hill, I calmly grabbed the sled and began my ascent towards the peak of the slope. As I completed my climb, I peered towards the bottom of the incline. Nervousness slowly began to creep back into my conscience as I saw the steepness of the grade. "Just stay on the track I made and you'll be fine," Daniel called out from the foot of the hill.

Slowly, I climbed into the sled, placing my feet on either side of it as stoppers. Awash in fear, I sat silently for a moment. All at once, however, encouraged by my brother's incessant bantering, I threw my legs into the sled and propelled myself down the mount. Speeding continuously faster through the cold air, I hit an unexpected bump in the path my brother had beaten, which sent me flying off the trail. Out of control and unable to steer the sled, I found my five-year-old frame hurtling towards a particularly thickly tree-coated section of the slope. With little time to react, my momentum was stopped completely as I crashed into the thick wooden base of a walnut tree.

Vision blurry and head pounding, I remained in a crumpled heap next to the walnut tree. Tears poured from my face. Rushing over, Daniel picked me up in his arms and sprinted towards the house. Upon reaching our front door, Daniel handed my trembling body over to my mother. Horrified at my badly bruised face, my mother gasped, "What happened?"

"First time sledding," Daniel shrugged.

"Oh," my mother whispered. "First time sledding."

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