Dead of Winter

November 19, 2009
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“Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.” Let’s start off with some background, I was given the trait of accident prone living for most of my life and this is one of the many situations. To continue the background, the basics of Alpine skiing are that you go around plastic poles down the hill as fast as you can without wiping out. Now to the real story, it was a freezing day in the dead of winter last year, and I was out on the ski hill at Afton. It was one of my meets on the Park alpine ski team which I had been doing for about a year and a half at the time. I was enjoying my skiing ability of that day and felt that this was going to be a special meet. I would never have guessed that I would be absolutely wrong in one simple feeling.

First off, I was fairly nervous as I always am before all my runs, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go; I took a few free runs. I was up eighth and I had some time to kill as the other 14 runners went before me, as two teams race at a meeting. To make matters even worse I had to use the bathroom, which threw me off even more. My turn was getting close; I still had to go to the bathroom but couldn’t, I decided to tough it out.

At last, I went down my first run and received an acceptable time but I knew I had to do better for my second run in order to get up there in rank. After taking care of some important bathroom related business I waited at the bottom of the hill to see what I was up against. The other runs were fast and I went over to my coach for any last advice.


“Go all out and loosen up a bit.” He advised, I did what he said and more. I rode up to the top and began the hard wait for my run. There were some friends on the hill that I decided to stand with. We talked about their runs which were fine, and some said one spot was to be watched out for which I took into strong consideration. I was now only a few minutes away from my turn. I stepped in line and waited.

The guy in front of me went down and I was up. With my poles planted in the indented snow, I started preparing to go, took some deep breathes, calmed down some, loosened up, and thought to myself, time to go. I pushed off and started my run. I was getting going; I was having a fantastic run. I took my coaches advice and went all out. I passed the point that I had been focusing on throughout my whole run, and at the next gate I was utterly ecstatic about my success on the turn; I lost my focus. My ski clipped a gate and from then on it was all downhill.

My skis and poles launched around the hill at this point, I remember thinking oh crap over and over again, as I went around and down. I rolled a bit and slid down the hill. Three gates bashed into my head on the way down, which is why I wear a helmet, and I decided to hang out there for a little bit. I did, however, manage to get up and try and get my equipment up from the top of the hill and finish my run, although the man in the announcer’s box was repeating to me “Get off the courses Lane.” ,I couldn’t hear a single word because my head was ringing. Eventually I did regain my hearing and grabbed my
equipment, and got off of the hill. I stumbled over to my mom like a drunken’ sailor and mumbled, “Where’s my backpack?”, and my mom decided to take me home. It all worked out and I am fine, but I did learn to know my limitations and NEVER lose focus.





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