I started skiing when I was four. I always loved moving through the snow, fast, swift; I even loved falling down, cause I always knew I had in me to get back up and try again.
Growing up in a seaside town, I only had the chance to ski once a year, when my family and I would spend a week in the Alps, in the Dolomites, or even abroad. I was still grateful to get to experience my favorite feeling in the world, even though it was just for a short time.
I have skied in Austria, France, Italy, and, now, America. Somehow the mountains always seem to speak the same language, no matter where you go. Somehow the snow always understands me, it guides me, even though we are from two very different places.
When I fell sick with anorexia, at the age of fifteen, skiing stopped feeling good. It felt like losing a lifelong friend. Stuck in a body that was not mine, a body so weak it could barely walk, the mountains and I lost our connection.
I remember crying on top of a slope, as I saw the steep wall, because I knew I could not do it: what hurt the most was knowing that the old me would have raced through that wall without a second thought. But that was not me anymore.
I went through a slow, painful recovery, and I am still rediscovering myself. It has been four years since I started being sick, and I am a completely different person now: sometimes, I can hardly recognize myself.
I went skiing again yesterday. I was terrified, fearing I would not find my connection, fearing I would feel like a stranger in the snow, just like I felt that one time in the Dolomites.
My fear came undone as soon as I got on top of the slope, a sea of white snow facing me. I felt that rush I thought I had lost, I felt that excitement, that passion that my illness took with it. I thought I was never going to get it back, but here it is.
Skiing is still my favorite thing in the world, and I am immensely proud to say that. Moving through the snow is still my favorite feeling. Moving fast and feeling safe, knowing the snow will be there to catch me if I fall: nothing will ever match that feeling.
I am ready to go back to the snow. It gives me purpose, it makes me feel free, it understands me. Now that I live less than 30 minutes away from the mountains, there is nothing that can stop me.
All of this goes to say, go back to something you left behind you. You might find out it has a lot to offer. You might have grown, but some things will just grow with you.