This I Believe

Kellyn - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear

The first time I ever put on skis, I felt as though I were invincible. Gliding down the mountain as though nothing can ever hurt me is the best feeling in the world. I believe in this type of confidence, the kind that makes you feel free and fearless, the confidence to go as fast or as slow as you want without worrying about what anyone thinks or whether or not you are good or bad, successful or a failure.

When I started skiing, I was about five or six. I remember the cold air and the fresh snow and the excitement of trying something new and exhilarating. I remember watching as the other children in my ski lesson cried as they fell and wondering why they didn’t just get up and try again. I remember the thrill of getting on and off the chairlift for the first time, but that was nothing compared to the first time I raced down the hill, even though it was only the bunny slope. Ever since that first day when my ski instructor yelled for me to stop and wait for the group as I flew uncontrollably down the mountain and fell in a heap at the bottom, already excited to go again, I’ve found skiing to be something that I can do without ever being afraid.

I’m not saying that I’m a scaredy-cat about other stuff, but when I’m about to get back a test or I’m on a break-away in soccer, there has always been something inside me that was a little unsure, even if it was only the slightest bit. When I’m skiing, that feeling completely disappears. I don’t care how hard or how often I fall. I just get back up and keep going.

I believe that this type of confidence shouldn’t be as difficult to find as it is today. It seems to me like everyday people are coming up with more and more things that we should be cautious of, whether it is our diet, the amount of exercise we get, what type of illnesses to watch out for, and even whom we should and shouldn’t talk to. I’m not saying that all this isn’t important, but I am saying that many people have been taking things so seriously that they don’t seem to just have fun anymore. Life has become a series of experiences designed and calculated to minimize chance of failure (or injury) and maximize the number of calories you burn. Having the confidence to try new things without being nervous about failing is a truly wonderful feeling. It’s almost as though a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders just knowing that you’re only trying to have fun, not win or beat someone else.

Everyone deserves the chance to be completely fearless while partaking in some sort of activity, whether it is chemistry, football, writing, or even yoga. This may sound silly, but it is important to me that I enjoy myself without feeling restricted. The confidence I feel when skiing can’t be matched and I believe that everyone deserves to feel that way.