8:02 a.m. Saturday. It's still dark, as usual, on these cold, winter
days. Everybody else is still sleeping and enjoying the comfprting heat of
their beds. I crack open the locked window by my bed, an act some deemed
downright idiotic. I strip off my pj's, throw on my robe, and head for the
shower.

Drying off, I think about where I am abou to go. I dress piece by
layered piece. I can't wait to hit the slopes! I round up my tools: body,
boards, boots, bindings. Everything is in working order and ready for take-
off. As I open the front door, I am shocked by the cold and fight my way
through the wind to my car. I turn the key and put the heater on full blast.
I am almost there.

I step out of my car and survey the parking lot. Not too many cars.
That's the way I like it. I take a deep breath and savor the frsh air.
Already, I can feel the pressure of deadlines lifted off my chest. I strap my
skis on, and prepare not just to tackle a run but other situations in my life
as well. I skate over to the first pitch of the double diamond slope, and map
out where I will take the first couple turns. It is almost like I am
assessing my goals in life: getting accepted into Syracuse, owning a house in
Colorado, raising a healthy family.

I appreciate the sound of carving the first turn as if it was my very
last. The crunching of the snow under my feet empowers me to crush the
antagonists in my everyday life. The second and third turns secure my self-
confidence. Only with the fourth turn do I start to realize that things are
not always that easy.

I heard it said often, "It's easier said than done." I never believed it
until now. I only skid slightly over a patch of ice, but it is enough to
start my heart thumping. I am suddenly aware that to finish this run or to
reach my goals, I have to be ready for the tricky spots. I know that at any
moment I could fall and be forced to start over. My lifetime goals can be
affected by any number of things - grades slipping, drugs and alcohol - and I
have to be ready to handle anything.

I clear my mind of all fear and continue through turns, but with more
caution. Once the focus of my goal is on track, I persevere to attain it. I
quickly aquire my rhythm. I become more determined. Now, I take sharper,
shorter turns. I glide swiftly toward the chairlift just now appearing in my
sights. I know that through hard work I can achieve these realistic goals! I
am almost there!

I thrill at the prospect of conquering this hill. I feel proud of myself.
I am gratified to know that I can accomplish a goal endurance. I can achieve
despite the many ice patches I encounter. I ride the lift back to my car. I
only came for one run, the run to help me survive the week. I drive home
grinning ear to ear.