Risk Taker

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Today I was supposed to go to a much needed doctor appointment in Golden. It snowed last night, and the single digit temperatures make the roads extra icy. As I was making my way to Frisco from Breckenridge my car slightly fish-tailed twice on the same road I totaled my car on last year. Though terrified, I decided to get on to the highway anyway, only to soon realize the highway was just as icy. I wish someone could have taken a picture of my face, because I'm sure it looked like I had just seen the devil. Every muscle in my body was tense, both my hands were clenched so hard to my steering wheel my fingers were probably turning purple, and I could feel the anxiety carving wrinkles into my face by the second. I usually talk myself through things I'm scared of, but I didn't even give myself an option. I got off on the next exit, Silverthorne, and took Dillon Dam Rd. home.

I've been a risk taker my entire life. My parents tell me that when I was little I would always say,
"I laugh in the face of danger," a quote I learned from one of my favorite movies, The Lion King. In middle school I made a beaded necklace that said "No fear," and wore it proudly. I've participated in almost every extreme sport known to man, and I've never let a boy tell me he was better than me. Being a skier in the mountains, I take risks everyday. And it's not even the type of risk that a normal person is in everyday, like the risk of getting in a car accident on the way to work... I literally go out of my way everyday to put myself at risk, for fun.

I have always believed that those who live in fear for their lives are the ones that never really live at all, and I always told myself I would never be "one of those people" who had petty fears that controlled their lives way more than they should. But sadly, ever since my car accident on January 2nd, 2010, I have become that person I said I would never be.

It's amazing to me how one event can have such a significant impact on a person's life. For the first few months after my accident it haunted me, and I told myself within time it would get better, but it hasn't. To this day I still have vivid memories: what I saw out my windshield, the sound of my car smashing to pieces, and what I was thinking as it was happening. I could pick the face out of a crowd of the paramedic who first opened the passenger side door, though I saw him for no more than 20 minutes in my life.

I've gotten myself into a lot of "Oh S**t!" moments though, which has really made me ponder why this one is any different. I've been in worse sports accidents that physically affected my life a lot more. I walked away from my car with no injuries, and all the came from it was a new car. So why should something so insignificant affect me on such a deep level? It bothers me that I can no longer be on the road without being scared. It bothers me that I don't trust my friends who I know are good drivers. It bothers me that I don't trust or feel safe in my own car. But most of all, it bothers me that all of this bothers me.

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