Friday, May 21, 2010

Here is your Friday story,

Gliding Through Life

Jumping over huge snow mounds, then propelling down steep snow slopes at a ridiculously high speed to the bottom of the mountains--what a feeling!

Well, maybe in my dreams. However what was I going to say when the person who had asked me to give an inspirational speech in Boise, Idaho, invited me to try skiing after I concluded my talk? I had just finished my talk with the words: "Nothing is impossible." However, I am disabled after having been hurt as a teenager, AND I had never, ever, been snow skiing. I asked myself: "What am I going to do?"

Well, I did the only thing I could think of and calmly stated: "I've never skied in my life; however, I'm always looking for challenges, so I would love to go." As I returned to my hotel room I was excited for the next day's "skiing adventure."

I awoke and dressed appropriately for the slopes. Tina, who had been the one to invite me to deliver the keynote at Boise State University, came to my room with her friend. We started the 45 minute drive up the mountain. As we got out of the car Tina said, "Wait here, I need to get the instructor, John, who I hired."

Shortly afterwards, she came back with John who explained that I needed rental equipment (skis, poles, etc.). He helped me put the equipment on and said, "Mike, lets go to the slopes."

It wasn't easy getting from the locker room to the slopes, but the guide helped me (a lot!) and we finally got to the "rope tow." (For those of you who are not aware, a "rope tow" is how beginners on the "bunny hill" get from the bottom of the hill to the top. I never knew there was anything called a "rope tow" but I learned quickly.) John said, as he was ready for me to try to get on the tow, "Are you ready?" and I replied, "Yep." His response was, "One, two, three.go." I grabbed the tow, almost falling, but I did it!

John was right behind me on the tow. When we got to the top he explained how we were going to go down the hill: he would hold onto the rented pole at one end and I would hold onto the other end. He then explained that as we would be going down the hill we would put weight on one leg, then on the other, in order to descend the hill on an angle.

My excitement was mounting and finally he asked, "Ready?"

As we pushed off, a huge smile on my face could be seen by everyone.

Meanwhile, down at the base of the hill, Tina and her friend had brought "cam cord" cameras to record my "skiing experience" so I could always have a reminder. However, unfortunately, Tina's camera battery had run out; and to make matters worse, her friend's camera's battery also had run out of power.

What was she going to do? She became frantic. She wanted this experience to be videoed.

Just then, out of the corner of her eyes, she saw a news crew with a camera doing a story at the ski mountain. She ran over to them and begged, "Can I buy some video?"

Naturally, they all said, "Of course not." However, after she explained the need for the camera, the news crew became enthusiastic and they shot the film. That night, there was a story on Channel 7 News about, "a first-time skier whom the camera crew had just run into." (Actually, it was Tina who had "run into them.")

I learned many things about life that bright sunny day while skiing down the slopes in Idaho. For everyone, life is full of "bumps and not always smooth". However, with the right attitude (as well as other factors), few things in life are impossible. I proved that as I glided down to the base of the mountain.

Michael Segal

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