Erin Maidman: Looking back on this adventure

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Erin Maidman: Looking back on this adventure

Erin Maidman

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It’s hot here; that’s the only thing I have to say about Ventura. I got back home on Thursday, spent the weekend catching up with friends, family, and (most of all) homework, and now I’m back at Foothill once again. And, my goodness, is it a change of pace.

I’ve decided that the hardest part of moving isn’t the different friends, different school, or different town; it’s the different culture. My way of life in Mammoth was drastically unlike my way of life now. I had a unique set of behaviors, habits, and freedoms in that small town, and now I have to adjust to the behavior here. And it’s not a bad type of “different” either, because I don’t consider either culture to be better than the other. It’s just a matter of dealing with the transition. 

Amidst all the homework, the adjustments, and, dare I say it, CST testing, I have had very little time to just sit and relax after my six-month-long journey. But, during those sparse few minutes of reflection, I have felt a single overwhelming emotion: peace. Not the “tranquil” kind of peace, because I’m definitely not feeling that at the moment.

I mean that deep feeling of contentment inside your soul that just takes over your state of mind and makes everything okay. I am unbelievably happy with myself and my life, and it has created in me a sense of inner joy and self-confidence that I cannot compare to anything else I’ve ever felt.

I’m just basking in the satisfaction of completing such a wonderful ski season. I achieved literally every single one of my goals, which, in the beginning, I had thought to be impossible. I won my first races, placed in a Tech event, have medals of every color, remained top Mammoth girl, and, most importantly, became confident on my skis.

I overcame a difficult injury and conquered the fear it instilled in me. I learned more about myself and my life than I could’ve ever imagined. I grew as a person, a friend, and a competitor. I established a solid circle of friends, team of supporters, and group of mentors to count on for the future. I successfully lived independently for over six months while maintaining the level of scholarship and competition that I desired. And, finally, I developed an incredible love for skiing that I didn’t even know could exist.

And then I wonder why I’m so happy.

I will never be able to truly describe how I feel, because I haven’t had enough time to decide exactly what this feeling is. All I know is that all the hard work over the summer, throughout my injury, and on the hill everyday has paid off. I did what I wanted to do. For the first time in my life, I have finished a ski season too early. I’m not ready to stop. All I want to do is ski, and that is so incredibly affirming, because I know that skiing is exactly what I should be doing.

I look back at my first article and smile. I sounded inexperienced, hesitant, even scared. I didn’t know what to expect or how I would react to such a dramatic transition. I said that I knew this season would be the best yet, but I didn’t know why, or how, or what for.

I didn’t know I’d break my leg. I didn’t know I’d win my first race. I didn’t know I’d go to Alaska, and I most certainly didn’t know how much I could love ski racing. Now I do.

This season will forever go down in my memory as absolutely amazing, and it only makes me more excited for the next one.

What do you think?