On my first day of skiing, if you told me that in just 5 short years I would not only (in my opinion) be a very good skier, but also teaching the magical sport on the same snow I was on then, I would have laughed you off and promptly fallen over into the snow trying to understand how I was to move the long, slippery shoes on my feet. But somehow, I managed to overcome all the hurdles that were placed in my way, and share my love and passion for skiing with others.

My journey started one day in my writing class. I wasn’t thinking about school, or anything much for that matter. Less than a week before, I’d had my arm cut open to end the unfortunate events that had taken place in the previous 9 months. As you could imagine, I was in a considerable amount of pain, with a rod, a plate, and 7 screws taken out of my arm. I’d had my computer open, and checked the ski report as I (and most hard-core skiers) do almost daily in the fall and winter.  I clicked around for a bit, and found a posting for a ski instructor. After reading the listing, I thought ‘maybe I could do that’, but at that exact moment, a sharp pain in my arm grabbed me and I forgot about it. After the pain subsided, I looked at the page again, briefly thought about it more, and shut my screen and came back to reality. There was no way that I could do that, right? A 14 year old with a broken arm and needing to convince my parents, I thought there was no way I could never get that job right now, or so I thought.

Fast forward a few weeks. Towards the end of October, I was out of my sling, and going more about my usual daily life. I had put the idea on the back burner in my head, but after my parents mentioned something about getting a job, it came back into my interest. With not a lot of schoolwork to do one afternoon, I did some research online, and found out that yes, a 14 year old CAN have a job. I quickly called my dad, and told him about my idea. He agreed that it was possible, but a very long shot, considering my age, experience, arm, grades, etc. As you would expect, I wasn’t very discouraged by this, so I decided to write a resume and cover letter, as well as fill out a fake application and watch videos on Youtube to figure out what I was up against. When I shared my writing with my dad, he was very impressed, but warned me that this was only the start of the process. I still had to convince my mom, doctor, and Timberline to let me teach. I wrote a proposal of the idea to give to my mom, at that point I knew that this was the first make it or break it point. I had one shot, so I had to get it right. I pitched my idea, and after, with the promise to consider it, she went to bed, leaving me in agony waiting for her decision. At that point, things started moving fast. Very fast. I had made the decision to apply to the job before I even presented my idea to her, as the posting was going to expire that day. I clicked a few boxes, got the standard ‘thank you for applying’ email, and felt a rush of excitement. Things were starting to happen! I didn’t expect a call back for at least a week, so I figured I was in the clear until I knew about my mom’s approval. As soon as she got home, I showed her the brochure I had made up. She surprised me by telling me to go ahead with it! I was thrilled. Then, not 10 minutes later, I got a call from Timberline asking me to go to an interview. I started jumping up and down with excitement!

The next 2 weeks passed very slowly. And I mean VERY slowly. It seemed like forever till the interview day! But it finally came. On the drive up to the mountain (I live on the west side of Portland, so about 1.5 hours), I was constantly asking my dad for interview tips. After a few practice interviews and Youtube videos later, we arrived at Timberline. I straightened my tie, adjusted my hair, took a deep breath, and walked in. I checked in with the front desk, got a copy of my application, and sat down next to one of my co-workers to be. He got called in, and I waited. After he left, I heard my name called. I got up, and walked to the back. I shook hands with my future bosses, and the interview started. It didn’t last that long, but at the end, they stood up, and offered me the job on the spot.  With a big smile on my face, I said “Yes, absolutely!” 

And so started my career as a Ski Instructor. I had so much fun, and learned a ton. I can’t wait to share that here in a future post. See you next time!

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