A few months ago, my roommate asked if I want to go on a ski trip with her and her friends to Oregon to celebrate some birthdays. Being the extrovert I am, I said yes to a weekend with strangers and snow. Little did I know that this trip would be one of my favorite vacations.

To back up a little, you should know that I have been TERRIFIED of snowboarding and skiing. When I was in high school, I attempted snowboarding and got a horrible concussion, cracked my helmet, and ended up in the hospital. Since then, I have been scared to conquer the mountain again. This trip was different though. Although I was nervous to face this fear of skiing, I knew internally that I could do it. With help from the best ski instructor, Andrew, I only fell off the ski lift once, cried down half the mountain and fell on my butt about 20 times. Once I understood the concept of skiing, I could do it! Once we made our first, and very long run, down the mountain, we sat together for lunch and laughs.

For the last few hours of the day, the group went their own directions and I made it my goal to get some solo runs down the bunny hill. When I stood at the top of the mountain, looking down at what I was about to conquer, I was thrown back in time to 15-year-old me at China Peak where I got my concussion. Instead of being afraid to ski or snowboard mountains again, I picked my head up and tried something that once physically and mentally hurt me. It was at this moment that I realized I can do anything I set my mind to, even if I had tried that thing before and failed. My mind and its thoughts are so much stronger than I sometimes believe it to be.

I lined my skis up with the middle of the mountain, took a deep breath, and pushed myself down. It’s moments like these where I am reminded of my dedication and drive – that failure is nothing but a figment of my imagination. You have to get back up, brush off the worries of the world, and do what makes you happy. And if it’s scary, that should give you even more reason to do it. Pick up your skis, hold your head high, and leap into the unknown.

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