I would like to learn about my passions, and how they have shaped me. I think back to a time when I would click my poles and put them over the wand until I heard a beep, then push off through the gate. Ski racing fueled an adrenaline rush. I spent most of my time on snow as a freshman on Rowmark Ski Academy.

When I gave up intense training, I chose to share my passion with others. After years of passing by the National Ability Center on the slopes, I was familiar with their work with the disabled population. Over the summer, I volunteered with kids and adults at an NAC camp, helping with horseback riding, rock-climbing, swimming, biking, and board games. So, when a fellow ski racer told me about the NAC Alpine Ski Club that would begin that winter, I signed up.

Each person greeted me with a smile and knew my name. I felt included as a coach amongst the employees and a friend to the athletes. I loved the time on Saturday where NAC disabled athletes would partake in skiing, and the employees let me teach and create my own lesson plan. The coaches engaged with me about what drills could help a student stand on their outside ski or feel more comfortable bending the front of their boots.

I stepped up to the challenge to make the athletes’ time worthwhile. Education was wrapped into this program; I would teach an hour-long lesson at the end of the ski day. I became an advocate of mentorship and close-knit communities where people are encouraged and supported in both their failures and successes. I indulged my passion as a Junior Coach and saw improvement in each racer.

As I spent each weekend at this inspiring arena, I felt the community of mentors coming together to assist athletes dedicated to their passions. In the process, I experienced my own from a new perspective. I discovered that others are also inspired by sharing their passions with the world around them. I found this source to be very helpful in my discovery of others: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rupa-mehta/taking-hold-of-your-passions-in-everyday-life_b_5787308.html. From this, I was able to decode other’s passions, and how they decide to contribute to society using their special interest.

Photo by FrT-eclairage

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November 13, 2017 12:10 am

Hi Hailey!! First off I want to say that your article is so inspiring! I think it’s awesome you spent this much time finding something you’re truly passionate about and helping others. It’s really incredible you have found what makes you happy. I think it’s also really important to discover and identify our passions early in life. They help us find what fulfills our dreams and goals in life. I found this website on the importance of identifying passions. (https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-reasons-finding-passion-important/) It relates to your article because you discuss finding passions. I’m so happy I came across your article. I hope you continue with the ski program!

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