Sliding down ski slopes

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By Willem Weinstein

What is it that makes people so determined to try a sport known to cause frighteningly messy injuries?

“The feeling of flying downhill at 30-40 miles per hour, using every well-trained muscle to control my descent.”

That was the response I received from Conor Carey ‘15 when I asked him why he enjoyed his favorite hobby, skiing.

But there should be more to it than that, shouldn’t there? Shouldn’t such a dangerous sport, a terrifying sport, warrant a greater desire, a greater reward for participating?

That’s what I thought, anyway, but I’ve realized that there doesn’t need to be any greater reason to love the sport than pure joy and bliss.

Personally, I could never speed downhill at literally neck-breaking speeds. The idea of it frightens me to nightmarish proportions.

Thus, I have nothing but respect for people like Carey, who are willing to risk their well-being for the sake of simply doing what they enjoy.

I asked Carey what his favorite part of skiing was and he replied, “When you’re on top of the mountain, and the wind isn’t blowing, there is a wonderful silence, and you can stop and wait before skiing down to the bottom. The thrill of it and knowing I have the skill to get back down is what I really love about it.”

What I get from him is that it isn’t so much the skiing as it is the pride in the skills needed to perform the act.

While skiing may seem like an unnervingly dangerous sport to some, and a gleeful thrill ride to others, it can maintain itself as a way to embrace the control you can have over your body and experience nature in a uniquely singular way.

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