How has ski racing helped you in everyday life?
When I was a little girl on my way to practice at Mountain Creek, as we passed Dunkin
Donuts I would say, “Daddy, my stomach hurts.” I said it every time. I was timid and scared.
Anxiety fueled me up like a full tank of gas. “It's too steep!”“It's too icy!” These thoughts
played over and over in my mind. In the second grade I went to school on average four days a
week. I would throw up every Sunday night. The anxiety would set in and I would work myself
up eventually making myself sick. My mom says I am the only kid she knows who can bring on
a fever to get sent home from school. Ski racing has definitely played a huge roll in my life
helping me overcome anxiety.
In the beginning, race days were not fun. I was scared. I worried about the conditions. I
worried about my skis. You name it, I would worry about it. My mom came up with the idea to
make a shirt for race days that said, “No fear, No excuses, No hesitations.” I had to repeat those
words to myself over and over again at the top of every race course. Slowly I started to let go
and just ski.
One fall my dad signed me up for ski racing camp in Copper, Colorado over
Thanksgiving. I was scared I wouldn’t be good enough and no one would like me, but what I
didn’t know was that this camp would change my life. The first day was scary, the mountains
were steep, the trails much longer, and I felt like everyone was better than me. I held back, and
asked my dad to go in late or leave early. By the third day, I actually looked forward to going,
by the fourth day I was comfortable on the terrain. I went from being timid and anxious to being
recognized as the Most Improved Camper.
Nowadays, I look forward to going to practice (even if it means waking up at 5:30). I
have better attendance in school. I finally stepped out of my comfort zone. I started auditioning
for musicals, ran for student council two years in a row which involved giving a speech to over
600 people, and tried different sports. Through skiing I have learned that there is more to me
than just fear and anxiety. I have become strong, confident, and adventurous. Because of the
unique commitment and high risk, I do not believe any other sport could have changed my life
like ski racing. Although I still get a stomach ache, I no longer hide under my pillow. I face my
fear, because after all, if I can race down an icy slope at full speed, I can do anything.