Health & Wellness

Find a Passion for Wellness – A Personal Story: Skiing

Written by Nick Andre

Snow covered mountains, rolling hills, and small lakes are endless in sight, as I look off into the horizon. The feeling of independence and peacefulness is indescribable. Pushing off, I peer down the steep slope in front of me as adrenaline runs through my body. I drop into the trail, carving in and out, trying to avoid ice and bumps as I speed down the mountainside. Skiing is my greatest passion in life and it has had a tremendous influence on my wellness and personal growth.

I learned to ski less than two years ago with the help of my father and close friends, all of which were advanced skiers. The sport had always seemed appealing to me and I finally had the chance to learn. However, learning was not as easy as I had thought. My first weeks on the slopes were defined by constant falls, doing “the pizza” down the entire trail, and out of control runs. The difficulty I had with learning was discouraging but I kept trying again, determined to ski like a professional.

Eventually I had caught on and moved past the bunny hill onto the intermediate trails. It was at this point where I began to really develop the passion for skiing I have today. I sharpened my skills by continuous practice and challenging myself to new terrain. In addition, I enrolled in advanced lessons at a local mountain in order to improve my stance, tucking, and carving. I became better after every session and kept moving on to more difficult trails.

Skiing nearly every weekend and vacation during the winter has made it a huge part of who I am. It has allowed me to become more self-confident, as I see my progress and achieve my goals of conquering certain terrain. Learning how to ski was an enormous challenge for me, especially because of my lack of previous athletic experience. However, I took on the challenge and have achieved countless personal feats since. This has taught me that taking on challenges, no matter how difficult they may seem, will lead to amazing accomplishments. Furthermore, skiing has strengthened my appreciation for nature. The true beauty of nature is taken for granted by most, which may be caused by never really experiencing it, the way skiing and other outdoor activities allow for.

Skiing has also had a profound affect on me physically. It has got me in shape by constantly working the leg muscles and provided me with cardiovascular exercise. In my quest to become the best skier I can be, I weight lift in order to be able to ski longer and have more power and stability. Eating a healthy diet is also a key element in training my body. It motivates me to eat better and keep away from the junk foods that will only hurt me in the long run. All of this has led to greater stamina and an overall better feeling body that increases performance on the slopes.

Today, I ski some of the largest mountains in New England and are able to conquer the black diamond trails I once dreamt of. I continue to challenge myself both physically and mentally, which can be seen in my new goal of learning how to race and take part in NASTAR competitions. Skiing has allowed me to grow in many ways and appreciate both nature and the freedom of independence one feels while on the mountain. Through my experiences I have truly developed a life long passion in skiing.

It is a passion such as this one that will profoundly impact your life and it need not even be physically demanding in nature. Of course if it does include physical activity it only heightens the positive effects. Pursuing goals associated with a passion decreases stress and leads to overall better health. It also results in greater satisfaction out of life and steers you towards accomplishing even more challenging goals in your life. So get up and go pursue the things you enjoy and turn them into major parts of your life. It really is easier than it sounds. Or as an alternative, try something completely new, you never know when you will discover something great.

About the author

Nick Andre

Nick is the Managing Editor of ModernSerenity.com and the Managing Director of Kumani Inc., a Certified Green web development and business consulting firm. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has deep passions for nutrition, organic agriculture, renewable energy, and the environment, which led him to found Modern Serenity in 2009. Nick is also a bit of a political junkie and is involved in environmental advocacy, land conservation efforts, and more.