Dealing With Pitfalls
Mass start ski races are chaos. They’re always chaos. Snow flies everywhere, ski poles come uncomfortably close to your face, and the likelihood of getting caught in some sort of pileup is very high. Try condensing eight lanes of traffic into four and watch the aftermath. My reaction time is pretty good, but on one particular March day it clearly wasn’t good enough, because when someone managed to fall down in front of me, I went down with them. There are few sounds on this earth worse than a 200 dollar ski pole snapping in half. My chances of contending in the race were now close to nonexistent. By the time I’d gotten up and strapped on a pole that a spectator gave me the lead pack was gone.
(photo: River Valley Graphics) (I’m in the white hat, about to run into that other guy)
You might not know it upon first talking to me, but I am very competitive person. There’s nothing more exciting to me than a race. I love watching them, and more than anything I love competing in them. It’s what I think about before I go to bed at night and when I wake up in the morning. So naturally, when things go wrong, it’s one of the worst feelings ever. I’ve crashed on my mountain bike so hard I couldn’t breathe, I’ve flown off the ski trail and hit my head on a tree, and one time I opened a metal door into my face so hard that I feared I was concussed, but none of that compares to the feeling of completely messing up a big race. It’s a reality that you have to accept when you participate in a sport. You can train and practice as long as you want, but sometimes the circumstances just aren’t quite right.
And here’s the thing about messing up important events: It’s not just about about the one minute of the one day that goes wrong. It’s about all of the hard work that we put into these things weeks, months, and years ahead of time in preparation. It can be really tough. Maybe you botch your biology test, don’t get into your top choice school, or completely freeze up during a big presentation. But it’s just a reality of life! The cards won’t fall in your favor all of the time, and that’s okay, because before long you’ll get dealt another hand. And I can’t stress this next part enough: The Gould community is incredible, and will always help you move past uncontrollable pitfalls and on to the next race.
I’m gonna throw you a TV recommendation every week from now on. There’s really not much I know better than television, and why waste that knowledge? This is one of the most stressful times of the year here at school and I think everyone should take a little time to step away from their work and appreciate some good story telling. This is like The Office meets Parks and Recreation meets House of Cards. You can watch the entire first season for free on Hulu. Have a spectacular weekend!