I’m only four years old, and today is my first time skiing. After hours of trying, and failing, I can hardly even stand up on the two skis. The whiteness threatens to swallow me up as I lie there, unable to pick myself up from the soft powdery snow. I turn my head to enviously watch the older kids, gliding down the mountain with grace. One day, that will be me, I just know it. So, I get up and try again.
When I turn 6, I join the Junior Racing Team. Training is hard, we get up at 5 am every Saturday and Sunday, and weather conditions are rarely ideal. We train in rain, sleet, or hail, day after day, week after week, and my skiing skills improve. Finally, the day of my first race approaches.
I’m ten years old now, trembling slightly as a wait for my turn to start. But as I glide up to the starting gate, those feelings of nervousness are replaced with pure adrenaline. The race starter begins his countdown, “Ready...set...GO!” he yells, as I spring out of the start. I glide around the poles, my skis slicing through the ice and sending up a spray of snow in my wake. I’m gaining more and more speed now, but suddenly I hit a patch of ice, and my balance falters. Struggling to stay on my feet, I make it through the next gate and continue the course. My father cheers me on from the sidelines, as I enter the final headwall. All my training kicks in, and I rip through the course, my shoulders brushing against the hard poles as I enter the homestretch. Left, right, left, and finish! My time appears on the screen in front of me. I won first place! A smile spreads across my face, as I accept my medal and take a step onto the top of the podium. I stand there, with my head above the crowd, wearing a necklace of gold. It was only a piece of metal attached to a ribbon, but, to me, it represented all of my hard work, and what I was able to accomplish. This may be my first medal, but it will not be my last.