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I put my mittens on and looked up from the Olympic rings sewn on them, to a run on the signpost which had the same insignia next to it. It must be a sign, I thought. 

"Lets do the Dave Murray Downhill run." I pointed at the sign.

"It's a black-diamond, you sure?"

"I can do it." I said, and didn't want to wait and see if I would question my decision. I pushed off with my skis and started in the direction the sign was pointing. 

"Hold on." My dad said.

I skidded sideways and turned back to face him, "What?"

"It looks like it's closed off," he raised his pole further ahead of me. 

"Oh." I said and untwisted my torso and saw the bright-orange, plastic fence, my dad was pointing at.  

"Wait, it looks like it opens up on the left where it overlaps with another section. Do you see it?"

"Not really." 

"Follow me." 

My dad slid past me, skis barely audible. Like a train conductor I directed my skis into his tracks and traced the path he took. When we got close to the opening in the gate there was a hand written warning-sign hanging at a crooked angle. 

"No Access - Whistler Mountain Ski Club - Race Training in Progess." He recited.

"I guess we can't go down it then."

"We aren't."My dad said. "Only you are."

"What do you mean?" I asked. I was confused. "Am I allowed to race?"

"Was Joey allowed to jump that cliff and cut in front of us? 

"No, but..." I stumbled to find the right thing to say. At that moment, the entire mountain was silent. The only thing I could hear was my heartbeat, which pounded so loud I was sure my dad must have heard it too.

Two fears paralyzed me. One was that my dad would think I was a wimp if I didn't sneak onto the race course. The second was worrying what would happen if I got I caught skiing on the run when it said it was closed. My dad stepped up the hill closer to me. 

"Look," he said, "if anybody tries tells you to stop, just keep going, don't stop. I'll meet you at the bottom of the run."

"Are you sure?" 

My dad put his hand out to high five me and I returned it, but I still didn't know if it was the right thing to do.

"Ok, I'll do it!" A smile crinkled the corner on one side of my lips and it spread across my face as I thought back to the way Joey raced down the course.

"I'm going to time you."

"From where?"

"I'll be on the second ridge, next to the fence." 

"What if I get caught."

"They can only catch you if you stop, don't stop."

"But, when do I start?"

"Haha, wait here. When you see me come out of the tree's head over the starting gate. Don't worry about the timing, just focus on getting a good start, and skiing your best."

"I will."

"See you at the bottom."

"Think I will be as fast as Joey?" I asked my dad, but he had already headed down toward the dense section of tree's lining Dave Murray's Downhill. 

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