Alpine Trust

This past weekend, I decided to brave the elements and head up to Vermont to go skiing with some friends of mine. It was going to be cold, mostly single digits and below during my stay, but the snow was going to be decent and I hadn’t been out yet this year.

As I was going down one of the more difficult trails that the mountain had to offer, I heard voices behind me. As they got closer, it sounded like a ski instructor giving directions to someone in a private lesson. They’d shout, “Left, now right, back left, watch your speed,” and it sounded like the pupil was doing well. Soon after this, I stopped to take a break and rest my legs for a second. As I looked up, a man came over the crest of the hill and whizzed effortlessly past me. It looked like he had been skiing since he was a baby and his form was perfect. He was also wearing a bright yellow vest that said “Blind Skier.” Without any hesitation, he obeyed the commands of his guide and made his way to the bottom quickly and with supreme confidence. I thought to myself as I watched them finish the trail and get back on the lift, “That is some serious trust, right there.”

I’ve had problems seeing while I was skiing before. My goggles would fog up or ice over and I’d be helpless against it. I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that it would be tough to relay this information to a friend of mine and then ski in front of them at full speed as they directed me past chair lift towers, other skiers, and trees.

I tried to catch up to him by getting down to the lift and riding up as quickly as I could, hoping that he’d still be getting ready at the top. Unfortunately, he had already made his way down and had multiple options from the peak. I didn’t see him for the rest of the day. It would’ve been nice to ask him about how it felt to tip his skies downhill and launch into a cold and dark wind tunnel filled with obstacles, knowing that his body would need to react at a moment’s notice if necessary. Or how he came to find a person who he could literally trust with his life to give him accurate directions and feedback the whole way down.

Mostly, though, I’d just want to say that he was awesome for not letting anything get in the way of doing something that he enjoyed. People like that are truly inspiring.

Ross Hammond, Editor

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