In 1962 John F. Kennedy gave his famous Moon Speech at Rice Stadium. In that speech he said: “But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? …..
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
I am in no way comparable as a human being to JFK and slalom skiing is not in anyway similar to the traveling 251,466 miles in a tin can to the moon but if I may slightly paraphrase the President, I choose to go slalom skiing not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
That is the whole point. Slalom skiing is hard. Yesterday I improved my tournament personal best by ½ buoy. At 40 years of age I have managed to improve my athletic best. To some percent of the skiing public my score of 4 ½ at 38 off is mundane and to some it is beyond their imagination. From my perspective skiing level has nothing to do with it, what matters is each individuals struggle to improve. Each skier’s willingness to engage in this endeavor because it is hard.
I have won many tournaments at one level and lost as many at another but the reoccurring theme that keeps me in the sport is the drive to improve myself. For me the greatest rewards of this sport do not come in medals or accolades but self satisfaction.