Everyone has been influenced by someone in their life. Whether it be a family member or a celebrity, someone has changed each of us in a way that molds us into who we are today. Saying that my influence has merely shaped me is a massive understatement. The way that Josh Waldron affected me doesn’t just define who I am today; it defines who I intend to be for the rest of my life. When I met Josh in our freshman year of high school, I would have never guessed that this kind, shy boy would be so important to me, but the day he died, I began to understand.
It was competition day for me. A breezy January morning, the frosty air nipping at my uncovered cheeks as I headed up to Sugarloaf. Through all the excitement, I had a dark feeling deep in the pit of my stomach; my intuition knew that something bad was going to happen.
Without being able to put a finger on it I chalked it up to nerves and shoved the thoughts into the back of my mind, I needed to focus. I bundled up, put on my snowboard and headed out on the hill.
As the afternoon approached, it was time to go home. With a first place medal around my neck I had nothing to complain about until I received a phone call. Josh was dead. He died in a skiing accident that very day, just two trails to the left of where I had been. The cold air became thinner, my heart too heavy for my weakening knees, and before I would catch myself, a near by snowbank broke my fall. Gasping between sobs and my goggles fogging wildly, I didn’t know what to make of this tragic event. Seeping through the thick daze that clouded my mind came a thought; Josh would not approve of such sadness.
Josh didn’t just do, he excelled. Anything he put his mind to he could accomplish. From playing the banjo, to competitive freestyle skiing, to his academics, Josh surpassed his peers with sophistication and modesty. He was calm tempered, considerate, and put others needs before his own. There was not a negative bone in his entire body, and his passion for life was undeniable. It’s safe to say that Josh Waldron, was unlike any other.
Living life to the absolute fullest, with determination, and a good attitude, is a foundation for both happiness and success. Not a day goes by when I do not think about Josh Waldron, which just goes to show the impact he has had on me. He was not just an influence, but an inspiration, and I will strive to follow his example until the day I die.
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