Facing fears, challenges on the skill hills

How I started skiing was, my grandpa took me out a lot. My mom and her sisters would go skiing with my grandpa a lot when they lived in Minnesota. So when I was about 3 or 4 years old my grandpa and my mom would take me to Marquette Mountain, and they would always try to take me as far as I would go. There is even a picture of me going down Ridge when I was 4 years old. I remember being on the chairlift for the first time and how I laughed because I saw so many kids much older than me struggling on the bunny hill.

I now go to ski lessons at Marquette Mountain and there are two groups: one for skiers and one for snowboarders. In each group there are different levels/classes. Each class has a different instructor and once a week we get together. Each class goes down different hills. We meet at 4 p.m. for an optional “free ski” on your own and then at 6 p.m. we meet at the bunny hill and go off with our groups.

I am in the Wedgers group. We always start on Ridge, then go down two more runs, like Chute or Snowfield and end with Rocket. On the very first day of my ski lessons I said to my mom as we rode up the chairlift, “I think I’ll be 37 before I go down Snowfield.” I thought that the hill was super scary and was like a monster feeding on fear. That exact same day we went down Snowfield! When I told my mom we doubled down with laughter. I am always telling my instructor, “I don’t want to go down this one!” But after I am always happy I did it.

My mom said when she was a kid people never wore helmets. If they did, they wore bicycle helmets. Recently in New York they tried to pass a law that children had to wear helmets, but the law did not get passed. I really think that it should have. The British Medical Journal of Sports and Medicine reported in 2005 that wearing a helmet reduces head injuries by 29 percent. Now people always wear a helmet.

I think what makes me go down all the seemingly scary hills is that there is a girl in my class that is about 4 years old and she goes down them. Seeing all those children going down the hills made me more confident. Once you actually go down those hills for the first time, they aren’t that scary anymore. If you just keep turning and putting your skis in the shape of a pizza, things will be OK. I fell once; I lost control of my skis on Ridge and accidentally went on a jump and slammed into the trees, but I got right back up and went back down. I’m glad that I take ski lessons. I really recommend it to others, especially if they are stuck on Ridge and are afraid of Snowfield.

Editor’s note: Eleanor Grosvenor is 11 and is in sixth grade at Father Marquette Middle School. Eleanor is a Star Wars fanatic and loves to ski and swim.