Aubrie Mindock

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

Why I got back up

Eleven years ago I was in a bad ski accident at Winter Park, Colorado. I was training for the Olympics in skiing and I was in a competition to make the National team when the binding of my ski popped off and snapped. I went head first into the hard, icy snow and immediately died. The ski patrol rushed to save me but it was not looking good. I was gone and in a whole new world called Heaven. I was safe with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Obviously, the ski patrol did save my life. I was brought back but when I opened my eyes in the hospital room I became all sorts of confused. Instead of seeing the beautiful white light of Heaven, I saw the ugly lights of the hospital. Instead of feeling warm and safe, I felt cold and pain. 

I can tell you from the moment I opened my eyes in that hospital room, life became a huge struggle. I was no longer the same girl. I knew from the moment I first saw my parents that my life was about to be changed forever. I knew that the little sheltered skiing life I once lived was about to become something bigger.

My parents wanted me out of the hospital pretty quick. They didn't want me in a place full of germs while I was recovering from a massive head injury as well as other injuries. Upon going home and back to school, I learned that my story had spread pretty quickly. People knew what happened to me. Everyone thought that my Olympic dream was over. No one ever imagined that I would ski again, not in a million years. There were days when I didn't think I would ever ski again. A part of me wanted to get back up and another part of me wanted to never stick my foot into another binding again. 

I did get back up though. After a few weeks of recovering I decided that it was time that I skied again and that is exactly what I did. I skied. When the day came for me to go down another run I knew that I had to try once more for the Olympics. I knew that I had to once again conquer the mountain and I did it.

I am glad that I did not hang my skis up for good and just call it quits. For if I had given up and said, "Well, I had a fun 19 years of skiing and that is good enough," I never would have been able to have the amazing experiences that I have now. Had I allowed that accident to take everything away from me I never would have learned resilience. I never would have learned about my own strength had I allowed that accident to become me and determine all that I do. I got back up to prove to myself that I will not be a victim but instead, a survivor. I was determined to come back and come back stronger than ever. 

In life we cannot just call it quits when we are knocked down. If we fall victim to our circumstances we will never learn how to overcome adversity and become powerful humans. If you allow your shortcomings, your past, your pain to determine who you are then you will always be the victim. When life hurts you fight back. Become a survivor and overcomer. It is when you overcome the road blocks in your life that you become who you are supposed to be and the world then can see what you are made of.