>Falling Down and Getting Up

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“Ummmm…I’m not too sure about this…”

“Oh come on, Tiffany. It’ll be fine.”

“But I really don’t think you understand. I have no balance, no hand-eye coordination, actually no coordination what so ever. This is not going to end well.”

“Tiffany, just get on the chair lift.”

It was December 31 and my friends and I had ventured up to Boyne Highlands Resorts in Michigan for a ski trip. And this was the big day–my first time ever skiing.

I was arguing with my friend, Kelli, who was trying to convince me that it was ok to attempt a more advanced hill, the next hill up from the bunny hill. But the thing was that I hadn’t even successfully made it down the bunny hill once and here she was trying to get me to try the taller one. I finally gave up arguing and got on the chair lift.

We reached the top of the hill and I stumbled off the lift. We stood at the top of the hill, I looked down and just knew this was going to end badly. I just started talking to Kelli and asking her a million questions but then she caught on, “Tiffany, you know you can’t stall forever. Sooner or later you’re going to have to go down the hill.”

I closed my eyes and pushed off.

First mistake:closing my eyes. You should never close your eyes when trying to ski, it kind of prevents you from seeing. Which is kind of important.

Second mistake: pshing off with a little too much excitement makes you go faster than you should. I made it about a whole 10 feet before I fell for the first time on the hill. Then I fell another four times on the way down.

For the most part I rolled down the hill and landed in a heap at the bottom. Kelli skied up neatly beside me, “Ready to go again?” Obviously she just missed my epic fail. But we got back on the chairlift and headed up the hill again.

Round 2: ow this time I fell again but with even more style this time. As I fell down the hill this time I lost my grip on my ski poles and “Oooops…there goes the first one……. oh and there goes the second. ….oh great there went a ski…..fantastic, now I’ve lost both skis.”

I just left a nice little trail of ski equipment behind me as I tumbled down the hill. Kelli collected my things as she came down behind me, “Alright, let’s go,” she said. She had to be kidding. Again? Really?

Round 3: This time was the best of them all. I made it about half way down the hill and things were going just fine until out of nowhere appeared a group of people. On my third trip down the hill I managed to take out an entire family of four and cause everyone else on the hill to fear for their life.

After about 14 more unsuccessful tries I was just about done. It had reached the point where my friends would act like Olympic judges and score the originality of my falls. “And the judges scores are in…7, 7.5, and a 4. That was a tough break on that final score. Maybe she’ll redeem herself with the next fall. ”

I was ready to be finished for the day but Kelli told me I should try it one more time. I made it to the top of the hill, preparing myself for the fall and the judges’ brutal scores.

By some miracle I made it down the hill in one piece and without falling. I had no idea, and still to this day have no idea, how that happened. But one thing is for sure, that without Kelli there to encourage me and keep me going, it wouldn’t have happened.

Whenever we have a dream or goal we hope to achieve, the most important thing we can do is surround ourselves with people who care and people who support us. Chances are our first few attempts might be unsuccessful but when surrounded by people who encourage us and believe in us, that makes the final goal of reaching our dreams that much easier. Without Kelli there at the ski hill with me, I would still be taking out small children on the bunny hill or would have just given up all together. Thanks to her encouragement and her persistence, even though it was a tough road, I was eventually able to reach my goal of skiing down the hill.

Whether we are trying out for the varsity soccer team, competing in a new CDE, auditioning for the school musical, or attempting to learn to play the guitar reaching our goals can be difficult. But they are so much closer and so much more within our grasps when we take the initiative to surround ourselves with people who care and believe in us. When others can see our infinite potential, that is when it becomes even more clear to ourselves.
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Tiffany Rogers is the 2010-2011 National FFA Eastern Region Vice President. She is a member of the Cassopolis Ross Beatty FFA chapter in Michigan. She is currently attending Michigan State University where she studies agricultural business.

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