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Wednesday, March 21 News

Never giving up and learning to get better / Aaron Johnson

Last holiday season was the first time in my life I went skiing. It was something that my dad has always said he loved doing.

And while the temptation to make a joke about a guy from Mississippi loving skiing is low-hanging fruit, it was a nice surprise to see once we got out to the slopes as a family in Pennsylvania last year that my dad could actually ski pretty well.

For all the stories and all the jokes, seeing him flying down the slopes was a sight to behold.

I figured well since he’s making it look so easy, I know I can get it no sweat.

Boy was I wrong. For about the next four hours, myself and my brothers spent the afternoon frustrated and baffled at the task. We couldn’t even stand up on the two slim pieces of wood. It was embarrassing to say the least.

Especially after my sister, who hasn’t played a since ounce of sports since high school, was whizzing by us, literally skiing circles around her hapless brothers — who up to this point where the star athletes of the family.

It was a difficult day.

So when this winter rolled around and my father wanted to go skiing once again, I came into the vacation with a new found focus. I was determined to not spend the entire trip falling on my behind and hearing the laughter from my family.

Needless to say, the first day was just as difficult as it was a year ago. But I never gave up. I continued to listen to the instructor and focus until finally I got it.

I spend the entire vacation on the slopes with my dad and it was a memory neither of us will forget. While perseverance worked in this instant, it was a journey that not unlike myself, can be a frustrating road.

For many of the teams competing across the state this season, adversity is bound to happen. It is the way of sports. There has never been a championship team or program that did not first have to overcome some form of adversity.

But as living, breathing proof on a personal level that it is achievable to rise above the obstacles that are in the way, players and coaching must remember that while the journey is going to be hard.

It is in the accomplishing of their goals that makes it worthwhile. Whether on the slopes of Pennsylvania or on the ice and hardwoods of the Nutmeg State.

Never give up fighting through the difficult times, it makes the good times that much more sweeter.


ct.com; Twitter: @aronJohnson_