Every Expert was Once a Beginner

February 16, 2011
I was jumping with excitement as my mom and I headed up the mountain towards Brighton Ski Resort. First to the Canyon Sports rental store to pick up some skis, and now this. 16 miles of winding, snowy, treacherous mountain road, and my enthusiasm still could not be dimmed. Ever since I was little, I had wanted to ski, and my mom had promised to take me once I was nine. I watched in envy as my older sister got to go, and came back breathless and red-cheeked, rambling about the fun it had been. And now it was my turn. I knew I was going to be just like the Olympic Skiers, racing down the slopes like a pro. My mom and I got our lift passes, and then walked up to the top of a small hill near the lodge. She helped me wriggle my boots onto my feet, and then showed me how to put my foot down on the ski. The first ski was easy, and I got it on quickly. Then I tried to put my other ski on. I kept slipping and falling because I had one boot on that I was trying to lift into the air, and then another one that I had a huge pole attached to. It was ridiculous! How was I supposed to do this? I asked myself. My mom came over, gliding smoothly on her skis like she had been doing it all her life, and helped me balance while I locked my other boot into the ski. I then realized that we had chosen a very poor place to put our skies on. We had to go uphill to get to the first slope. My arms were shaking, and my determination completely exhausted as I reached the top of the hill. Halfway up, my mom had passed me, moving her arms in quick, efficient strokes as she streaked up the hill. I finally got to the top, and my mouth dropped open. Below me there was a steep hill, and at the bottom? Forty or so people, all standing in line, waiting for the lift to take them up the mountain. I wanted to give up right then, but then I remembered a saying that my dad had often told during soccer season when I struggled. “Every expert was once a beginner”. I crossed my skis in an “A” like my mom had taught me, and slowly skied down the hill. Standing in line was torture. Every time the line moved, I had to move. And it was hard enough to stand still! I kept running into everything. People, skis, trees, babies… You name it, and I probably hit it. I skied forward too far when it was almost my turn for the lift, and practically got hit by the chair. By the time I had skied down my first slope, I felt like crying. Dodging all the people while zooming down a hill when you could hardly balance was not as easy as I had assumed. What I needed was a not too steep hill with no people, trees, or bumps. Except that was impractical and likely impossible. I also kept losing my ski, just my left one, whenever I fell. I was embarrassed and frustrated that my perfect day was so ruined. How was this fun? I grumbled to myself. I was freezing cold, tired, sore, and humiliated. I wanted to quit, but our passes ended at four and it was only noon, so my mom convinced me to go on one more run.




We started at the very top of one of the mountains, skied down past a double black diamond, and then up a hill to where the path we were going to take started. About three-quarters of the way up though, I slipped to the left. My stupid left ski instantly came off, and I found myself stuck in the snow. I struggled to get out, but only sank deeper. The ice that was usually on top was not there, and asa consequence, I was steadily sinking into the snow. What made it worse, though, was that my ridiculous right ski was still stuck to my boot, and I couldn’t get it out. I was fed up. I started crying. There on the side of the hill, surrounded by trees, the snow, and the steady swish of heartless skiers, I cried until I couldn’t anymore. My mom was planning to meet down at the next lift, and I knew she wouldn’t miss me for a long time. I reached down, and pressed the lever that separated my boot from my ski. I pulled my ski out, dug around for a while, found my left one, and somehow pulled it on. Before I went down the slope, I repeated the phrase I had remembered from that morning. “Every expert was once a beginner”. That slope was my best ever. I went faster and faster, but every time I started to panic I reminded myself that I was in control, and that the best skiers had to deal with this at some point. I started trying to weave back and forth like they did in the movies. It made the whole thing easier, and gave me more balance. When I reached the end, where it leveled out, I saw my mom and headed over. When I came close to her, I turned my skies just right so I stopped. My mom was really excited that I was good at something she likes, so ever since then, we always go skiing together. Even though it’s still scary when you start going so fast you can’t see the trees, or go off a jump, I have learned that when you fall you need to get back up again. No one was born perfect at anything. However, practice does make perfect.





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hottiewithoutabody said...
Mar. 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm
amamazing never seen such talent in one so young
 
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