Richard - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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This long life lesson all started one weekend on the high snowy mountain of beautiful Stratton Vermont. On this particular weekend the finals of the U.S. open was operating at Stratton Mountain. The first day as I drove into the parking lot I could see all of the tents with the sponsor’s names on them up and ready to go. As I get out of my car and step from the parking lot pavement on to the cold shine slushy snow of the mountain. I paused and took in all the excitement and the smell of the freshly cooked hamburgers strait off the grill and the humongous crowd buzzing with excitement. But the thing that really made me stop in my tracks and the whole reason people show up to this wondrous event right in the middle of the trail the huge seventy foot tall perfectly groomed half pipe. As I look at this huge man made gem stone seeing all the pros were going one after another doing amazing tricks making the crowed sound like a sea of oooos and ahhhhhhhs.

As I ride up the chairlift seeing, a few courageous riders do a 360. I sit on the chair no one but me wondering why can’t I do that? As I reach the top of the lift I hop off and start to head over to the train park. As I enter this wonderful place I also see riders doing 360s like they could do it in there sleep. So once again I think how hard it could be. But then as I approach the jump it becomes bigger and bigger and the butterflies in my stomach start to build one second. The next I am weightless flying in the air tuning about 90 degrees then suddenly I froze. As I am floating in the air knowing that in mere seconds I will be falling on the slushy snow of the mountain. Then I start to decline into the slushy snow as I start this decline I managed to turn about another 180 degrees so my back was facing down the mountain. As I start to land on the mountain I fell flat on my face started to slide down till I got a grip got up and brushed it off. I tried the whole weekend to nail that trick but it wasn’t till the next weekend after that that I landed my first 360 still falling most of the time.

After this experience I realized the importance of the value and belief persistence. All my life I have been told that persistence is key weather it be practicing a sport of trying to get the hang of a new subject in school. Persistence is a part of our every day life for example in school when you learn a new topic in school and you get homework that night on that topic so if you do not get but if you are persistent with the topic and you really try your best on the homework and you pay attention In class and put forth the effort you will eventually be an expert on the topic. This relates to my story because in my story I was persistent is trying to land the 360 analyzing every aspect of the trick. Trying as long as I could every day through all the falls and bruises I am persistent when trying land the 360.

But it wasn’t till the end of that day on the weekend when I finally realized the importance of persistence. Even know I have been told that value over and over thought my life I never thought about the importance of it. For example if you played a sport and you just showed up at the games and you never practice you would be the worst player on the team. If I did not practice the 360 and I tried once and just gave up and I never landed it, I wonder how differnt I would be.

After that experience with landing the 360 and finally figuring out that persistence is the most important value to me. My life has change I never really had a value that I went by I just kind of when through life but when I discovered this values it gave life a whole new meaning. That is what I believe.