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Matt Barron

Mrs. May

CP English 12

December 8, 2017

Passion Project Essay

What pushes people beyond their comfort zone, facing possible death in extremely cold

conditions for a few powdery turns? There are many reasons why people do it, but every person

has their own reasons and limits. Many people ski to push their limits; they enjoy the rush of

flying down the slopes and feed off the adrenaline. For others, skiing is their sport, they train

and compete to be the best. However, most people ski for an active escape into the wilderness.

Whatever the reason, skiing continues to gain followers who are willing to push their limits for

the thrill of sport and adventure.

While skiing is an extreme sport or a way of life for some, it is simply just an escape or

entertainment for others. All the hassles and adversities that make us question why people ski,

are also the very reasons they do. As Amanda Bagala says, in an article about why skiing is the

best sport, You are in the middle of nowhere, in the cold, and there are no worries. No jobs to

apply to or work to do (Bagala). This ability to escape from society for a couple hours draws

many people to the mountains. The extreme weather and possible danger that comes along with

skiing is perceived as insignificant compared to the societal escape by thousands of people every

year. This is especially true for a skier named Jimmy Rogers. In an article from Powder

(magazine), Catherine Lutz interviewed him and found out that All his life, especially in times

following personal challenges, Rogers has turned to skiing as a way forward (Lutz). Rogers,
now an old man, has faced adversities such as losing his wife and his father, and in these tough

times he used skiing as his escape. Whenever he would feel down or helpless he would hit the

slopes to clear his mind. This emotional release is the main reason Jimmy Rogers skis, and

many people alike. The locations of skiing and being able to reach a desolate parts of the

mountain is one of the many attractions to snow skiing.

Along with enjoying the wilderness and getting away from everything, a big factor in

why people ski is the fitness aspect of the sport. Like every other sport, skiing requires a level of

physical fitness. An article from Health Fitness Revolution talks about the cardiovascular

workout that snow skiing is, saying that skiing can help an individual burn calories and lose

weight (Revolution). Staying active in the winter can prove difficult, but skiing provides a

great way to get outdoors and stay active even when it is cold outside. The cardiovascular part

of skiing is accompanied by a full body muscle workout as well. The same article reveals

benefits of snow skiing to your body by stating that skiing puts you in a constant squat position,

it works your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads and glutes and because you are

constantly working to stay balanced while skiing, you core is engaged at all times (Revolution).

This full body workout is difficult to replicate with any other exercise, much less one that can be

practiced in the winter. This ability to be not only active but intensely working out your entire

body is another factor that attracts people to skiing.

The last reason to ski, that is more uncommon, is skiing as a competitive sport, or using it

as a way to test your limits. Many people that ski like to improve their skills and work on their

turns, however, there are few people that enjoy sending double backflips off cliffs, or taking a
helicopter to unreachable and untouched parts of the mountain. These adrenaline junkies, as

some would call them, truly face life threatening situations that some skiers do not. In an

interview with three time Olympian Erik Schlopy, he describes skiing as the sweetest juice

(Schlopy), meaning it gives him a sense of freedom and power when he is flying down the

mountain at 70 mph. He then stated that when he skis he feels like he is flying and it is

something that no other sport or activity can provide (Schlopy). Daredevils, like Erik, ski for

the adrenaline rush and to push their limits. They all love the sport and enjoy pushing its limits.

This may not be the most common reason, but it is the one that is in the mind of all the skiers

that are willing to drop off a cliff or compete to set world records.

Despite the dangers and downsides of skiing, it is rapidly increasing in popularity. Every

person might have different reasons for wanting to ski, but every skier has one. For the most

part, skiers are out there to escape society, be active and exercise in the winter. The uncommon

test their limits and risk their lives for the sport. As the sport of skiing continues to grow, these

reasons will not change with it, but only strengthen.

Works Cited
Revolution, Health Fitness. Top 10 Health Benefits of Skiing Health Fitness Revolution.

Health Fitness Revolution, 26 Oct. 2017, www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-

benefits-skiing/.

Bagala, Amanda. 5 Reasons Skiing Is The Best Sport. The Odyssey Online, 4 Nov. 2017,

www.theodysseyonline.com/why-love-to-ski.

Schlopy, Eric. Personal Interview 28 Nov. 2017

Lutz, Catherine. A Skier's Search for Nirvana. POWDER Magazine, POWDER Magazine, 30

Nov. 2017, https://www.powder.com/stories/powder-profile/skiers-search-nirvana/.