Beliefnet's Winter Olympics 2002 coverage is sponsored by Guideposts, a source for true stories of hope and inspiration.

This story originally appeared in the March 1974 issue of Guideposts and is reprinted here with permission.

Skating has been my life since I was very young--at four years of age I was out on our town's rink. When I discovered that I had a special talent for racing, I shed my figure skates and began to work even harder.

"Faster, faster," were the words I'd come to live by. Nine years of racing blurred into a kaleidoscope of strange cities, starting guns, and time clocks. By the time I went to Inzell in the Bavarian Alps in late 1970 to train for the world's speed championships, I had begun to wonder what it was all about. Did winning events and breaking records matter that much? Was this what I was here for? Was there any deeper meaning to living?

The answer always seemed to hover beyond my grasp until one afternoon in Inzell. I hiked up the mountainside to a spot where there was a clearing just beyond the snow-filled pines.

Far below me lay a lovely valley. A tinsel river looped and curved across the white carpet of snow; a tiny village nestled near it. What really stunned me was the sound. There was an indescribable, silent humming, as if all the vital forces of nature rose into a heavenly music--a music not heard by ear, but by the soul. I began wondering about this breathtaking beauty, something which man had absolutely no part in creating.

Who then? The shock of recognition was electrifying. An overwhelming joy flooded me.

A different Anne Henning came down from the mountain that afternoon--an Anne Henning infused with new life and understanding, as if all the knowledge frozen within me from my Sunday school days had become fluid reality in that moment. I had found what I was instinctively searching for: an inner faith, faith in God, faith in myself. Life came into focus. God had given me a gift for skating and it was my responsibility to put it to its best use. But I knew now that this was not my sole purpose in living. He would have other responsibilities for me, perhaps more important and more difficult ones. And with each one He would always be there to help me.

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