Jeff Pier Winning Essay From Julia LaSala

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 wouldnt be good enough and no one would like me, but what I

didnt 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.

New Jersey Ski Racing Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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“The New Jersey Ski Racing Association is the governing body for U.Ski and Snowboard alpine ski racing in New Jersey. Its membership is comprised of competitors, parents, coaches, race officials, and those interested in being involved in U.Ski and Snowboard racing in New Jersey. NJSRA is responsible for qualifying races and administering state quotas for racers who want to compete in out of state events. Representing New Jersey at Eastern Region meetings, it acts as the communication link between the state's U.Ski and Snowboard ski racing clubs. NJSRA is dedicated to providing programs for young aspiring ski racers. We hold true values by instilling confidence, courage, character, and commitment to becoming the best you can. NJSRA was founded in 1980 to provide training and competition programs for young ski racers, NJSRA has over 400 kids that train with determination and passion. Many will continue with the sport through college for fun and some to even to the National level. NJSRA is also committed to growing the sport of ski racing and building awareness throughout our communities.”

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