I think my last post sums up what it means to me to be skiing again. I honestly can't say enough awesome things about my experience working with Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra over the past several weekends. Everyone who I've worked with has been so encouraging, supportive and patient. Mark, Maggie, Carolyn, Carlynn, Jaclyn, Andy, Tom, so many others... all amazing. Most importantly, they've made skiing fun again for me - even when I have looks of panic on my face or am super frustrated with myself (I think Carlynn and Jaclyn know all about this). I might still have issues with wanting to backseat it, but I can see and feel all the progress every week. Honestly, I think in many ways I'm skiing better than I did before I broke my back. I can say for sure that I'm having way more fun and enjoying every second of it. Between working with DSES, the support of so many friends, and not giving up on getting my life back, I can't even find the words to express how grateful I am.
|Carlynn, Woolly, Jaclyn and I on a bluebird at Mammoth!|
Skiing Toward A Goal
I've been debating for a few weeks if I wanted to do a blog post on my goal, or if I just wanted to keep it to myself. This one is a little more personal than all my other recovery goals because it's related to the day my life changed in a split second. That day, I was going to ski my first black diamond runs. Dave and I felt it was time to give them a try, given how quickly I had progressed in a short amount of time. Well, I never got the chance to ski a black diamond run that day. My life changed before I even finished warming up.
After two successful weekends of skiing with DSES, I started to think more and more about skiing a black diamond again. I was nowhere near being able to actually do it, but I really was starting to think that maybe it could happen this season. Well, what better day for which to aim than the day that I was going to ski one for the first time?! I like to set lofty goals, so why not? Dave, Moosie and Natcho thought it was a good goal. I brought it up in an email convo with Maggie, to give her a little background and see what her thoughts were on it. She said she had a run in mind, but it depends on a) how my skiing progresses, and b) if we get more snow. I was thrilled to get a supportive response to such a crazy goal and to hear that we should keep working toward it.
Through a series of events (i.e., talking with Carlynn and Jaclyn about my black diamond goal during lessons), I figured out the run Maggie had in mind was Patrolman's. That being said, my goal is to ski Patrolman's on my two year 're-birthday'. February 23rd is full of bad memories for me, so I plan on spending the day making awesome memories on skis - whether it means I ski Patrolman's or not!
|Standing at the top of Patrolman's on the way down St. Moritz.|
Now, what if I don't meet this goal? I'll admit, I'll probably be disappointed and it'll probably hurt a little more than not meeting the hiking goals. At the same time, this is a lofty goal, and I know it. I "set" this goal a little over a month before the two year mark, before I was even close to moving off Chair 11 at Mammoth. Plus, there are two huge variables in play that I have absolutely NO control over - the conditions of Patrolman's, and if Maggie thinks I'm ready for it. I have a feeling the latter will be the more challenging of the two - twisting her arm and bribing her with extra dark chocolate won't work. Trust me, I've tried the dark chocolate thing. If things don't fall into place on the two year mark, I'll just adapt and make it my skiing goal for the season. Goals are all about adapting to what's thrown your way. If I don't ski a black diamond on the two year mark, it doesn't mean that I failed at my goal, it just means it wasn't meant to happen that day. Why the hell not keep pushing for the goal though?! GAME ON!
|Celebrating the fresh snow at Mammoth with Maggie. |
The conditions for Patrolman's should be improving with incoming
storms, now I need to keep progressing so she knows I'm ready...