Ryan - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I could feel the wind soaring through my body, sending shivers down my spine. Everything was great: white snow, icy trees, beauty around every turn. I felt like a regular old neighborhood superhero, soaring on snow. Until, crash, bang, boom. My body felt like a rag doll, being thrown left, right, and then left again. My planks went flying, my poles were in the air, flailing like the hazardous objects we were all taught to stay away from. I couldn’t tell if I was in pain or in shock. I felt a spray of snow, a screech against ice, and a dead silence. I felt myself being picked up and brought to my feet. I was brushed off and asked if I was okay. I took a deep breath, said yes and we were off again. Skiing for the first time was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done… I believe in enthusiasm, courage, and perseverance.

Enthusiasm can be put into anything. Actually, I think that enthusiasm should be put into everything. I believe that only good things can come from having excitement. It takes courage to be excited. Trust me, I know. A lot of times I’m not sure it’s good to be excited. Many times I’ve asked myself if it’s the right time to be excited because I’ve been more nervous about something.

Before we left to go skiing, I was nervous instead of excited. I had heard stories of kids falling and breaking bones and I wanted nothing of it. Going up on the ski lift, the slope looked like nothing. I felt confident and ready to go. Then, we started to go down. I swear, I could feel the gravity pushing down on me, tons and tons forced upon my body. I was scared. I thought about running way, but then I realized that with skis on my feet I wouldn’t get very far without sliding backwards.

I also believe in courage. I think courage is in every single thing we do in life. To have the courage to take a test, to go for an interview, or admit that you’re guilty in something. Many times when I have the courage to do something I’m also scared out of my mind. Just because you’re brave doesn’t mean you have to be fearless and overconfident. I had the courage to start off and begin going down the mountain. Now I love skiing and can tackle even steeper and larger slopes.

On that first day, I could feel the passion for approval from my dad inside my body starting in my head, and ending in my legs. I wanted to feel that I had impressed not only my dad but myself. Countless falls made feel humiliation, disappointment, and a little humor inside. But the desire for praise and lunch (My dad said that we couldn’t eat before we left because he had slept in) kept me going and moving forward. Go. Fall. Up. Go. Fall. Up… It kept repeating until our twelfth time going down the slope. Finally, I reached the bottom without falling once. (Or maybe three times) I felt like I could run through a brick wall. As it turns out, my dad had been proud of me the whole time. He had even said I had done better than him the first time he went skiing.

It just goes to show that if you want something you have to work for it. I believe in perseverance. Perseverance is one of the biggest things people lack today. It always runs in our family. If you want something, you should work for it.

Some people get whatever they want without working for it. I believe hard work deserves reward, not nothing. Let the people who work hard every day get to relax instead of the ones who get someone to do it for them. Perseverance is one of the many keys to life, as are enthusiasm and courage.

Life can be challenging, but standing up for what you believe is one of the greatest ways to make it through. Enthusiasm, courage, and perseverance can change the perspective of how we view life, and one another. This I believe.