To Ski or Not To Ski

Augustus (Gus) - Gloucester, Massachusetts
Entered on May 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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To Ski or Not To Ski

I believe in second chances. For the younger part of my life, I followed the rule that if I did not like something the first time, I never had to try it again. I gladly followed this rule for things like spinach, mushrooms, squash, hockey, and riding horses.

But three years ago, my dad took my brother and me skiing for a day. I had always known that my dad loves to ski, but he could never convince me to go. When I was five, I had discovered that I did not like the sport. I remembered being cold and refusing to go near chair lifts during my first, and only, childhood visit to a ski resort. For years, I had been refusing to entertain even the possibility of taking up the sport. Eventually, he convinced me that, since I was older, I might be able to appreciate how much fun it actually is.

After a long car ride, we ended up in the parking lot of Mount Sunapee. I got out of the car, struggled to put on my ski equipment, and stumbled toward the mountain. I was already starting to wish that I could leave skiing like I had left sweet potatoes and clams.

Before I could even step into a lift line, my dad signed me up for a two-hour lesson. This consisted of letting a rope tow me up an almost flat hill that the locals referred to as “Learner Avenue.” I would ski down at an incredibly slow speed, while the instructor showed me how to turn, which made me slow down even more. By eleven o’clock, the end of the lesson, I was sick and tired of skiing.

I was ready to abandon it forever, but my dad had different plans. He convinced me to go up to the summit, and at least ski down once. I was in a bad mood for the entire ride up. When we got to the top, I was ready for the worst. But when I started down the trail, and I could feel the wind blowing by, I felt something strange. I was actually having fun. After the first few runs, chairlift rides, and multiple falls, I could freely admit it: I love skiing.

At the end of the day, I had been having so much fun that all I could think about was when I would get to go again. It was not until very recently that I realized the reason I love to ski is because I had not given up on it when I didn’t like it at first.

So now, I have decided to give more things second chances. A few weeks ago, for example, I finally tried that slimy piece of spinach that I had sworn never to eat again. I was dreading the moment, but when I finally built up the courage to just nibble, I was shocked. It did not taste nearly as bad as I had remembered; it actually proved to be a perfectly worthy vegetable to eat during dinner. I have also discovered that, if you wear a jacket, a hockey rink is a perfectly comfortable place to watch a game, and that sherbet can be even better than normal ice cream. I have found that second chances are definitely worth giving, I believe that many things in life require more than one try to fully appreciate.