Addisen W.: Memoir

This Time For a Good Reason

The air feels thick as I trudge off the ski lift and onto the mountain coated with layers of freshly fallen snow. I am skiing with my family for the day, and there are a few trails that we have yet to go on, and I am ready even though I have not skied. In about a year. Excitement and nerves suddenly hit me like a wave before stepping towards the trail. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I begin to feel calm and all of the butterflies dissolve in my stomach. Opening my eyes, the mountain behind me appears to be bare, but I can make out my sister sauntering towards me through the snowflakes. I lunge forward and glide down the bend just before stopping in my tracks to wait for Arden. She comes soon after and we fly down the mountain. The air feels pristine as I pick up speed down the snow covered trail. The trees in the distance seem to whisper as they sway in the wind and a gentle hum of birds can be heard, like a symphony or the ravishing melodies from angels. I start to pick up speed, and quite quickly, the smell of evergreen lingering in the air.
There was a wooden deck in my peripheral vision when I started skiing down this trail, but now the deck is right in my path. I panic, attempting to make a sharp turn, but my skis resist and lead me forward. I can hear a few snowboarders zip by me just before I fly onto the wooden deck. The snow around me seems to freeze in mid air and I can no longer hear the gentle hum of nature around me. My skis seem to float off the ground, just before I tumble. Over the decks’ railing. I fall down, my arms flailing and thrashing and writhing, trying to grab something, but there is only air.

Thump! I smack onto the cold, snow covered ground. The snowflakes seem to zip rapidly toward me, almost in anger. My lungs feel empty as the pain settles in and everything looks white. I realize that my goggles are covered in snow, and I brush them clean before managing to sit up. At that moment, Arden rushes over to the platform and peers down at me. I hear her gasp just before she runs around to where I am lying.
“I thought you had died!” She cries, a look of horror on her face, while she helps me up from the ground. I imagine my sister watching me fall, a million thoughts rushing through her mind. I swipe at the tears on my face.
“I’m okay, I just got the wind knocked out of me.”
“That was such a high drop,” she peered at the platform.
“I’m really not hurt…”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive, the fall didn’t hurt an inch of my body.” (That was only a slight lie.)
“Good.” The worry seems to melt from her face.
I almost laugh. But I don’t dare. Tears bite at the corners of my eyes, but I force them to go away, suddenly embarrassed by the few people staring at us. I look down.
“My ski is gone!” I cry and gape at my right boot, no longer attached to my shiny white ski. I look next to me, and behind me, and in front of me. My ski is gone.
“This can’t be happening!” I yelp, searching frantically with my eyes for a glossy white Black Diamond Equipment ski. For all, I know it could be under the snow where I fell or lost somewhere in the bushes.
“I’ll call Dad,” Arden fishes her phone from her pocket and quickly dials his number. I continue to search for the ski, and after a few minutes of frustrating failure, I plop onto the ground. I huff and close my eyes, barely believing that I almost died, and now my ski could be lost in the depths of a pile of snow…

“Do you want to know why you couldn’t find your ski?” I suddenly hear, my ears perking up like a dog’s. The voice sounds like they know something that I don’t.
My eyes travel to where the voice is coming from, and see my dad walking. To the platform.
I dash over, forgetting how upset I was just minutes before. I look up and see my ski Balancing on a branch. It leans toward me, almost to mock me for not knowing that it was there the whole time. My face instantly feels warm. I don’t blink when my dad grabs my ski from the branches of an evergreen, or when he walks over to me with it, placing the almost-lost item in my arms. Hours seem to pass as the wheels in my head spin and spin. Suddenly, I burst into laughter. I can’t stop laughing, and a few tears roll down my cheek. This time for a good reason.

As you may have guessed, my mother was very surprised to hear that I fell off a platform (more like slipped over the edge of one) due to a sharp turn and unplanned speed. And you also may have guessed that I haven’t skied on that trail since the accident. I learned from this rather comical, yet unpredictable experience that skiing is dangerous, but I also learned to laugh when things seem terrible (maybe this isn’t a great idea) and to focus on the positive in every situation.

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