Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big Dreams

I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life. Yet, these last few seconds seem agonizingly eternal. I’m trying so hard to control my breathing as they announce my name and my nation. In and out, you can do it. This is the easy part. The hard part will blow by so fast that you’ll hardly have any memory of it. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

Years of training. Years of preparation. All of it has led me to this moment, to this spot on top of the mountain. My Olympic dream is coming true today.

I’m staring down the white slope, seeing the flags that I’ll soon be darting in and out of. I think about the road I’ve traveled. I think about the first time I strapped a pair of skis to my feet. I think about the first time I fell and swore I’d never do this again. I remember picking myself up and brushing the powder off my clothes as I steadied myself for one more try. I remember winning competitions, small at first, but finally being seen on the world stage.

Suddenly I realize this isn’t about winning gold, silver, or bronze. This is about me being the best that I can be. This is about representing my home and my family and all those people watching at home that are cheering me on from their armchairs and sofas.

And the gates fly open and I fly down the mountain. The cold air slaps me in the face and stings. It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. I push myself for more speed. I weave in and out of the markers. I’m almost at the bottom. I can see the finish line. I can see my parents waiting at the bottom with their hands raised. I’ve never seen my father smile that big in his life.

I look to them and I realize I don’t care what place I finish in. All I care about is that I made it. I dreamed a big dream and today it came true.

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