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.