Independence: A Reflection on my Winter

As we grow up and mature we become increasingly independent  and more so often than not young people crave independence. It is something that we learn as we grow up and not something we are forced into without experience; when parents let us  stay at home for the first time while they go out, for dinner to when we are left to take care of the house for the weekend. So when  we are faced with bigger steps of independence we are prepared for new challenges, along with increased responsibility.

When I moved to Invermere, BC this winter to continue my pursuit in alpine ski racing at a higher level it was the first time I would be living away from home. I was faced with new challenges and many more responsibilities. This new independence was frightful at times; not having parental figures around anymore and being left alone for days at a time in this new and unfamiliar setting without the comfort of a familiar town and house. I now had to make sure the fridge was stocked with healthy food to support my training for the week and prepare every meal. Many things that I would have had parents to help me with such as making sure all the little thing were taken care of, that that house was heated when it was minus 20 degrees celsius outside, that lights weren’t left on and extra power wasn’t being consumed, things like cleaning the house, cleaning dirty pasta dishes from two nights ago, and being organized for ski trips. On top of that I had to ensure that I kept up with my Grade 12 courses and take care of my ski equipment  (waxing, tuning, brushing, ect.) and my fitness off the hill (strength, aerobic, anaerobic, agility and recovery). Over these few months I gained new knowledge and learned a lot about myself and the responsibilities which independence carries with it.

Being involved in a support that demands independence and  responsibility had prepared me well for these new challenges. We would travel for weeks at a time, and being athletes we would have to take care of our health and fitness along the way. As well as taking proper care of our expensive equipment. These experience helped me to learn to be responsible and independent.

The new independence I experienced was an eye opener but at the same time I really valued it. This experience helped me to learn a lot about the increased responsibilities that come along with living on your own.  Although it could also be a huge challenge at times I enjoyed the freedom to act for myself and face new challenges. I learned so much from this experience and now that I been home with my family again (I still love their company!) I find that I desire the glimpse of true  independence that I experienced.