Aubrie Mindock

Professional skier, author of "When I Saw Heaven" and "Back Up On Skis," Olympic hopeful

Stronger than fear

The moment my parents found out that they were going to have me my skiing career began. I was still in the womb when my parents decided that I would be a skier. When I took my first breath the first words out of my family were, "She's going to be a good skier!" 

The winter of 1989 came fast. I was 2 years old. This was the year I would learn to ski. My father bought little white skis for me. I remember them clearly. Before I even stepped foot into a binding for the first time I knew that I would love the sport. I remember my first day of skiing clearly. From the moment my dad put those little skis in my arms I fell in love with the sport. 

My parents did not know it at the time but I would soon start competiting and winning. At the age of 5 I had placed first in my first GS race. From there my skiing career took off. 

When I turned 12 years old I knew that I wanted to make the Olympics. I was still pretty young and did not fully understand what the Olympics were. All I knew is that only the best athletes competed in them and I wanted to be one of them. When I was 15 I started my Olympic training. 

As you know I became a top competitor and by the age of 19 I was on my way to Nationals and the Olympics when I fell at Winter Park during a GS race at speeds around 70 mph. I sustained severe injuries and died that day. The ski patrol rushed to save me. Their efforts paid off. When I came back from Heaven my life would be changed forever. 

After the accident everyone thought that I would never ski again. Even I had doubts and I tried to talk myself into being happy without the sport of skiing. God knew that I would never be completely happy if I didn't get back up on skis and it was God who kept telling me that I would ski again. God had a plan and I was to trust Him and follow Him. Eventually, I got back up on my skis and I made Nationals that year.

I love skiing. Skiing isn't just my passion. It is my life. I just live and breathe skiing. It is what I am born to do. I'm born to ski! 

People often assume that because I got back up that I am fearless. They are wrong. I do have fears. What if I have another head injury? What if I break my neck again? What if I die?

The thing is, I came to understand that I am stronger than fear. We are all stronger than fear. Getting back up and overcoming tragedy does not mean that you are fearless. It only means that you are strong and you do not allow fear to control you. Overcoming adversity means that you are passionate and you love what you do. When you overcome horrible events that is when you shine. 

Do not be afraid to challenge yourself. Be strong and have faith. Go out and try something new. Do something that you have always wanted to do but have yet to do it because of fear. The biggest thing is don't let anything hold you back. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to have it. 

God bless you

Aubrie Mindock