Adaptive ski programs enable athletes with injuries and permanent disabilities to be able to ski, be mobile, and enjoy the snow. It helps both physical and mental health, and there is nothing better than getting on the snow and leaving your troubles behind.
I started skiing cross-country as a kid, and could not resist pointing my tips down hill. After a while my parents decided that it would be safer to enroll me in actual downhill ski lessons instead of trying to teach myself on the wrong equipment. We enjoyed countless hours in the snow as a family.
My boots were purchased at a local goodwill store, and I skied those things for nearly twenty years. It never once occurred to us that my shoe size was changing as I got older yet I had the same rear-entry ski boots for my entire childhood, teen years, and even skied them as an adult. They were adult boots, but my feet were so wide and so swollen growing up that we never realized they weren’t a proper fit.
Skiing was something I could do because of the boots. While most skiers use their boots as merely a connection to their ski, mine were almost a prosthetic because they supported my body weight and allowed me to lean forward in a way that I could not do otherwise.
The mechanics of skiing are also different from walking, which has made it possible for me to ski even at times that I have struggled with walking and other daily tasks. It is something that I love and look forward to. It helps me to cope and gives me confidence that I would not otherwise have. And it has been my honor to assist families with kids who have disabilities to be able to learn to ski and enjoy the same family activities that made such a difference in my life.
This year I am going back to the hill with difficulties in both feet. My goal is to ski as many days as possible, and my hope is that it will help me heal so that I can do daily activities again. I have seen an orthopedic surgeon and done countless hours of physical therapy, but this injury is very stubborn and inoperable at this time. …so I am going to ski.
Thank you for helping me to make today a day for moving forward and gearing up for the new year. It has been exactly one year today since I had my injury but I am determined. I will deal with pain as it comes up. I will do what I need to do. But I am moving forward.
Thank you to my friends and family for your support.