A True Winner

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

I last raced with him at our favorite venue, where he dusted me (and all of us) decidedly. Wiley was headed to big things. That much, I thought was certain. If only I had known this might be the last time I saw that blue race suit streak past me, I may have cherished my defeat. But I learned nothing is a given.

The following day Wiley suffered a freak accident. The ensuing months, then years, mental and physical whirlwind of ups and downs of his recovery, wrung me through emotions I had never before experienced. But it is not enough to put him back on the track he had been. His goals went from the Olympics to making it around the course upright. My goals changed from beating him, to helping him ski again. It's obvious things have changed, but I still see the old Wiley, graceful and powerful, some of his muscle memory preserved in this sport we both love. We still ski together, and I help him along the courses that he used to dominate. Having been the quiet kid, it still surprises me when he now is the loudest voice among the cheering, and he provides the much needed comic relief before race starts.

It has become impossible for me to dwell on a bad result or missed opportunity when I see Wiley race around the course haphazardly,...

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