Life is Precious!

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My 5 year-old second cousin, Robert, had a lump on his back surgically removed last week. Earlier this week we found out that it was cancerous, and he's going to be having surgery again to have more cancerous tissue removed. He has always been such a healthy and athletic little boy who's been raised by phenomenal parents, so it was shocking news.

Two days ago a 26 year-old ski legend, CR Johnson, was killed while skiing at his home mountain, Squaw Valley. He caught his edge on some rocks while jumping off a cliff and tumbled straight to his head and neck. CR sustained a brain injury back in 2005 that was thought to be a career ender, but he had an amazing comeback. He is said to be one of the most influential skiers to ever live, and has the record of being the first person to land a 1440, when he was just 17 years old. I would say that the odds of two severe brain injuries is what shocked everyone the most, but with the recent accident of Kevin Pearce, I can't say that is so.

No one can ever see accidents or illnesses coming. No matter how much you try to stay healthy or safe, there is still so much we don't have control over. I have always had a very strong belief that there is a reason for everything. Sometimes it's hard to believe that because you can't help but wonder why God would want such a thing to happen. But I believe that out of every tragic event something positive will happen. I try my best to take nothing for granted. I wake up every morning to a priceless view of Breckenridge Ski Resort. I get to ski almost everyday, go to school in the evenings, and be surrounded by so many incredible people. Everyday I wake up appreciating my life, family, and friends as much as I can. I am praying for a healthy recovery for Robert. And for his poor parents who are under some incredible stress. Even with the stress, they have continued to go above and beyond parenting. I am also praying for the Johnson family and close friends of CR. It's always tragic to see such young talent die so soon, especially after a triumphant recovery. But I know CR is up there shredding mad deep powder.


Hong Kong = Country, Not City

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As I was watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony the other night it struck me as very odd that Hong Kong was introduced completely separate from China, so I did a little research. Turns out it's not a city like I thought it was...

Until 1997, Hong Kong was actually a colony of the United Kingdom that was ruled by a governor. Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region (SAR). Though it is a part of China, it still has it's own currency, legal system, and parliamentary system for the next 50 years. The Hong Kong dollar is not accepted in the rest of China, and the Chinese Reminibi is not accepted in Hong Kong. That being said, it is currently it's own country.

I couldn't find a picture from the Opening Ceremony, but here's one of Hong Kong walking in the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2008.

Mother Nature Sharing the Love!

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Happy Valentine's Day! 
These pictures were taken by Breckenridge Ski Resort today. How ironic we get our first real pow day on Valentine's Day! I guess Mother Nature finally decided to share the love!



Mission Possible

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It was a cold and windy day today on the mountain. It wasn't crowded, but there was as an abnormally large amount of tourists for a week day. Some of which looked like they semi-knew what they were doing, some of which didn't, all of which were in my way. I got frustrated and decided to head over to a run called Freeway, where the park crew had set up a number of different extra large features, including three jumps. The gaps of the jumps went from 45, to 55, to 65 feet. This is my first season skiing, and though I've so passionately wanted to do some big jumps, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. It kills me to watch my pro friends shred so comfortably you wouldn't know the difference if they were laying on their couch watching TV. I skiied to the top of the jump line and suddenly stopped, causing a spray of snow to cloud over my view. As the snow cleared something funny happened, and I felt like I was looking at the jumps for the first time from a different set of eyes.
"This is ridiculous," I thought to myself, "you can do this!"
I looked around and saw not a soul in sight. No one to save me if I were to fall and wreck myself, no one to witness if I were to land and ride away. I had absolutely nothing going for me, but I decided to go for it anyway. Without hesitation, without a second glace, I aimed my skis down the run, and went. It was only a few seconds later that I was safely on the ground on the other side, and only another few seconds for me to realize what I had done. That short moment I spent flying over a 45 foot gap would liberate me from any fear I ever had of heights for the rest of my life. I rode down the run with so much adrenaline I felt like I was glowing like a light bulb.
"My head was just above the trees, the treees!" I screamed out loud and laughed as I shook the ski poles violently in my hands.
I collected myself before I got to the bottom and played it cool, secretly hoping someone had saw. I quickly realized none of my friends were to be found, and if anyone had seen, it clearly didn't impress. As I was standing in the lift line waiting to go up again, life around me was going on as it normally does. No one could see the triumphant fireworks exploding in my eyes behind my goggles, or the silent celebration that was rattling my inner core. I suddenly didn't care whether anyone had saw. I suddenly didn't care what I could or couldn't do on skis, or that the mass proportion of my friends were better than me. I had a private victory that made me feel like I had made it; I had done something I never thought I would be able to do. I got on the chairlift with a hot young lad I had seen many times before, and I knew he was an incredible skier.
"I just stomped my first switch 9 off that jump, super stoked!" He said, with a tone meaning to impress, as he pointed to a jump that was barely pushing 30 feet.
"How's your day going?" He asked.
I politely grinned and responded, "Ohhhh, pretty good," and paused, "nothing spectacular."

It was my moment, and I no longer wanted to share.


Weekend Recap

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This weekend I went to the X Games, and unfortunately it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. Me and my friend Rachel got up at about 5:30am on Saturday so we could leave by 6:00. The drive was beautiful with the moon setting and the sun rising over the mountains. We got to Aspen, found parking, and took the bus to Buttermilk. Bobbie Jo, Dylan, Becky, and I started handing things out for CMC, but quickly got stopped by the security for "pirate marketing"... whattt?!? By 12:00pm it was extremely crowded, and I'm not a fan of crowds. I got to see a few of my friends who were competing for a few seconds, but they all seemed pretty busy and stressed. I didn't have a credential like I did for the Dew Tour either, so I was stuck at the bottom and couldn't get a great view of much. By 4:00pm we had had it with the crowd, and decided it would be best to head back to Breck. It was really cool to be able to see it in person, though. It was also fun to take my first real road trip in my new car!


It also happened to be the same weekend that Breckenridge was holding it's annual snow sculpturing contest, so after we got back me and Rachel went and checked them out. (Click on the pictures for a bigger view.)









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