You stand on that ski,

Looking down at the hill, a hill you've skied,

At least 200 times

You grin, because this time it's different

The path is clear

And you can go as fast as you wish

It's different from a race;

There are no gates to guide your path.

The only thing…

The natural forces of physics.

You grin again, and check,

Yep, still no one there

You push off,

Enjoy the feel of weightlessness for a moment

Before Gravity realizes

That he's been asleep for a moment

And pulls you back down

And you feel the snow under your feet

You sink gently into the snow, and go straight down the hill

Well, not quite straight,

As your ski starts to bend down in that gentle arc,

Curving your path along the snow with it

You cross the fall line,

And push your foot ever so forward

With a rush, you realize that you're speeding up a little,

Accelerating as you go slightly across the hill

Then you push your body upwards,

Just slightly,

Letting the snap of the ski's bent shape

Send you sideways, 15 feet

You feel the next turn begin to pull you in,

Send your legs far away from you,

Bring you in so close to the ground that your gloves get wet,

Cause all the air in your lungs to be released,

Bring your arms unconsciously forward

Just like all the other times you've felt dialed-in

You can hear the soft whistling

Of the air as it passes the ears of your helmet

You can feel the soft rustling

Of the air as it causes your sleeves to flutter,

And you can taste the delicate cold

Of the air as it flows down into your lungs

Then…

You hit a small bump in the snow

It wouldn't have even effected you, had you been going slower

But…

At 50 mph, a small bump has a startling effect.

And you feel yourself take off into the air

Your body is suddenly all wrong

You take one billionth of a seconds pause, and think…

'Oh Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck'

You, who rarely, rarely ever swears

The word extends as you load that ski as hard as you can,

The only way you can possibly get back your control at that speed

You don't breath,

You don't think,

You don't blink,

You, most of all, don't overreact.

You slowly bring your skis back,

And you let out a deep breath as you get kicked off your skis

But, that was just regular snap, of course

And you can handle that

Especially now that you've slowed down,

All the way to 25 mph

You grin suddenly, and think

That wasn't too bad

And so you get ready

Pointing your skies straight down

As you get more speed

And again, feel your body

Naturally balance on that tiny blade

That tiny sliver on the edge of that ski

And as your barreling down

At about 50 mph, maybe more,

Your body relaxes completely

Your mind becomes blank

The knots in your chest loosen

As you do the only thing that ever relaxes you

Ski