USSA athlete spotlight: Meg Olenick
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – This winter did not exactly go as planned.
I underwent my fifth knee surgery in January.
I missed every contest of the season.
I organized trips and at the last minute had to cancel them.
I skied more groomers than I have my entire life.
These things made the winter very long for me, and I would catch myself daydreaming about the beach way too often.
Typically, I want the winter to never end and am upset when the chairlifts shut down for the season.
Though this year, I am looking forward to it; I want the sun to shine and the temperatures to rise.
I have spent five days on my bike so far this spring and find that my best thinking comes when sitting in the saddle.
I have had time to think about the positives and negatives of the last year; I’ve thought about what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown.
The biggest thing I have discovered is not about myself but about the people in my life. I find myself trying to embody a little piece of everyone who influences me to become the best person I can be.
My family, obviously, has had the biggest influence on me. They have watched me grow up, watched me succeed and watched me fall flat.
They have done so much for me over the years when I reflect back on it, it constantly blows my mind what people will do to see you happy.
My mom bought me a brighter comforter with the hopes that it will brighten my day when I wake up. She spontaneously took a trip to L.A. with me to get me out of my dark hole and back on top of my mountain.
My dad constantly worries about my well-being and happiness and wants to see me happy in all aspects of life.
He slips me money when I leave town to reassure himself that I am eating.
My step-dad sends me emails with motivational messages or educational videos that make me look deeper into myself.
He lends me books, which he thinks will help me discover myself. And he’s right. Most of all he makes me think.
My brothers poke fun at me to make me a better person. They let me tag along in any situation and make me feel welcome at all times. They remind me that I deserve the best and to keep chasing my dreams no matter how many times I get knocked down.
All of these little gestures shape who I am and give me an idea of who I want to become.
I can’t forget about my friends who have kept me on my feet when I feel like crumbling to the ground.
They open their doors to me when I am feeling lost.
They send me dumb Youtube videos they know will make me smile and laugh.
They are by my side for whatever decision I make, and most of all, they remind me that happiness is the most important thing.
Happiness, I believe, stems from the people you surround yourself with and can heal any wound.
Through all the hiccups over the last year, I have managed to stay happy, and I give all the credit to those who share their wisdom with me and open their hearts to me.
When I pop in and out of the Roaring Fork Valley, I am reminded how lucky I am tohave grown up not only in the most beautiful place but also with the most welcoming community.
Thank you to all who have supported me over the years, My journey to the 2014 Winter Olympics is not over, and I will continue to share my experiences over the next 10 months.
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On March 4, 1982 in Waterville Valley — exactly four decades before it failed to medal in Beijing — the U.S. women’s ski team clinched the Nation’s Cup, calculated by adding every point in a season for all racers from a given nation.