Jeff Pier Winning Essay From Luca Pizzale

Congratulations to Luca Pizzale for writing the winning essay, 2 years in a row!!!

Enclosed is my essay submission:


Thank you,

Luca Pizzale


Cozy as can be, I was laying in my bed, in a deep sleep. Only my unconscious mind had control of me. Suddenly, a huge clamour smashed the delicate state that I was in. At first, I was completely unaware of what was happening. Then I opened my eyes.


Bright streams of light halted all my vision. Attempting to locate the source of the light, I rotated my head in all directions, but the light was coming from all around me. Finally, my mind was back in my control. I heard the ear-piercing screams coming from my mother. She shouted, “It’s race day! Get up!” After ten seconds of sitting there, I finally became aware of what was happening. My alarm read 5:30 AM. Nobody in my whole neighborhood was awake except for my mother and I, as it was a Saturday morning. After nearly falling out of my bed, I was able to put on my ski clothes and begin my journey to Campgaw. It was pitch black outside.


The second, yet easiest part of my trip would be the car ride. My head hit the seat, I instantaneously passed out. Once again, only my unconscious mind controlled me. We finally arrived and I was awoken. I stumbled, but was able to collect my belongings and travel to the lodge, where I would collect my bib and prepare for the race.


I got into the liftline, loaded the lift, and went to the top of the hill. I slipped the course with one of my coaches. One gate stood out to me; a delay that was situated at the bottom of the steep section of the hill.


An hour or so later, my run was coming. As I hurried into the starting gate, all thoughts left my head. I looked upward, catching a glimpse of the horizon, not a single cloud to be spotted. Bluebird skies met perfectly with the woods. It was a stunning view. The lady at the starting gate said, “racer ready.” I pushed as hard as I could. Everything came fast. Not for a second did a thought come to me, but I was late. I needed to throw my weight forward and push myself to the limit. But I did not. Instead, I let human nature take over.


When given speed, humans want to put their weight backwards. When you are backwards, you lose control. Skiers need to push themselves forward, conquering their instincts and giving them control. That applies in life, too. Ski racing has taught me that I need to always push myself forward, regardless of what nature may want me to do.


That day, while I had experienced failure, I knew what I needed to do differently. I needed to push myself. I needed to conquer myself before I could conquer the mountain. Ski racing has taught me there is always room for improvement, no matter if you are the best or the worst at something. Stay forward and conquer.

~Luca Pizzale 2017

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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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