Skiing Puzzle

October 21, 2017
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The icy wind was nipping at my face. Atop of the hill, I see the gradual fall of each white snowflake shroud my goggles. I shiver from the snow slithering down my legs like a scaly snake. My friend seems to be saying something; however, his sound has dissolved into the roaring wind. 


“Go hit it!” my friend Nathan shouts.
“I - I don’t know,” I respond.
“Just do it.”
     

I’ve attempted rails before; however, I haven’t done any rails like this one. I feel frozen in time. I couldn’t get myself to go down the hill. I begin to countdown from three. Three, the scared feeling within me slowly leaves my body as I edge my way closer to the hill. Two, I can feel movement reappearing and close my eyes to think. One, I open my eyes and take off down the hill towards the rail. I am gliding on the snow, left right left right. I feel the crunching sensation of the warm snow rush through my body as I get closer. I won’t back out. I’m committed to hitting this rail and I know that I can. Zero, I sail off the ramp, the wind is now piercing my face, but I am unfazed. Time has felt as if it has slowed down, but I felt like something was not right. I can see the yellow rail slowly disappear under me as I realize I’ve completely cleared it. My body begins to spiral and all I heard was Crack!
    

I’m awake. I feel confused as I try to remember what exactly happened the previous day. It’s Friday and I think to myself, Why am I not at school?, I look down at my arm and see the bright green full armed cast. It all begins to come to me. The snapping of my wrist and how I was rushed to the hospital after. I was put on medication while they had to reset my bent wrist, and now, I'm back in my home. I try to get up, but the pain in my arm prevents me. I don't know what exactly to feel, scared or confused. I manage to get up, finally, and walk around to see if anyone else is here. The cast around arm feels like a thousand-pound rock. No one at all. I am left alone to figure out what I should do. I can just imagine the struggle of simple everyday tasks that will now be a burden. Thankfully, It was only my left hand, so I can still do some tasks with ease; however, I am done with hockey, I am done with skiing, and I am done with simple tasks of life.
    

I find myself in the kitchen and realize I feel a bit peckish. I look into the pantry and see some chips, cookies, and some other easy to eat foods. I wanted a sandwich. I manage to get everything out and am now left with the hard part of making it. I grab the bread and begin to slowly open the bag with one hand. The simplicity of this objective makes me realize how much I have taken two hands for granted. After struggling enough with this, I go into the pantry and grab some chips. The thought of how I will go about my life-alone-makes me worried.
     

I begin to look around to find something to take away my boredom. I see items like books, video games, and television; all seem dull to me at the moment. I eventually come across a Rubix cube, which was left from when a friend who had visited earlier that week. I reach out to grab it and begin examining its colors randomly placed around it.The thoughts emerge of when I was a child, how do I solve this? I made a goal at that instant. That goal was for me to figure out how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I pull out my phone and load up a tutorial video on youtube. The guy begins to talk about the steps of solving a cube and I watch in amazement as he gradually solves the cube.
    

I am stunned. I pull myself back together and think, it’s my turn. I grab the cube with my right hand and attempt the first step, make a cross. I find all the white parts of the cube and begin to make the cross with one hand. The first turn instantly illustrated the difficulty of this task. Trying to move that cube with one hand must’ve been one of the hardest tasks I’ve done. I get frustrated at the difficulty and throw the cube at the pillow next to me. Patience. The guy’s voice in the video reemerges in my head, “You must be patient when solving one,” I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and try again.
     

I know I can do this. I have the cube on the ground and put my arm with the cast on it to keep it stable. Patience. I grab it with my other hand and start turning each side to make the white cross appear on the base. After about five minutes, I managed to make it and the sight of this cross gave me the biggest feeling of accomplishment that I have ever felt. The next step, make the first two layers. Here came the tricky part, I now had to construct the first two layers of the cube, but I was unsure of how. I remembered the algorithm for it, but for some reason, actually doing it seemed almost impossible for me. I begin to look for each piece and start moving the sides around. The first layer was done, I was, yet again, amazed at what I had just done. This milestone gave me some confidence in what I was doing and I just felt like I was flying. Soon, the second layer was complete and I was just filled with joy. Next was the third step, complete the entire top side. The cube begins moving and I just keep going at it, no frustration at all. The whole top side is done in no time. Finally, I’m at the final step, finishing the cube. I begin to do the steps needed to finish off the cube, each turn slowly brings me closer to achieving my goal. My heart begins to speed up, thump-thump-thump. Patience. With the final twist-and 2 hours of playing with it-it’s solved.
    

I used to take the easy way out of many difficulties encountered in life, like that sandwich, but now I know that the challenges presented in life are there to show what you’re willing to do to achieve something. When I fractured my wrist that night; I thought that I would become very dependent on other people, but - thankfully - that wasn't the case. This moment, in my life, has led to me realize something. Life likes to put obstacles in your path every single day, we all have to get through something that may not be easy, but we still do it. That night on the ski hill, that rail was my obstacle, and being able to say that I at least tried it and didn’t back out means a lot more to me now than if I would’ve gone away and spent my time doing something else. Being able to confront challenges-face to face-has guided me to become a better person and, also, who I’m today. Someone who has guts.






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