21 March 2011

Loving skiing again

On Saturday I joined the Gaylord Adaptive Sports Association on a ski trip to Bromley Mountain in Vermont. Because of my hospitalization in November, I've missed most of the ski season. I also have had mixed feelings about skiing again. It had been something I truly loved to do, and I knew it would never be the same. I learned to ski when I was about six years old. I remember pulling on my shiny black ski boots, lacing them up tight, strapping on my little wooden skis (painted blue with red and white stripes), snapping into the bear-trap bindings, climbing up the slope in our backyard (at the farm) and sliding down again. Maybe that's just a romantic memory, but it is true that I have been skiing for over 40 years.

Anyway, last year I learned that 3-track skiing was HARD. I could barely make it down the bunny hill without my legs burning from the effort. I was crippled for days afterward, limping along from my sore muscles. So I was concerned about suffering again, about not being able to recapture the grace and pleasure of doing something really well, and also just hurting while trying to make my way down the gentle slope at the ski mountain and then recovering once I got back home.

Well, I had a great time. Today my calf is a bit sore, right in the meat of the muscle, and a little soreness in my forearms, but that is about it. What a relief! I guess I'm stronger than I thought. It was difficult, you better believe it, but I had fun. Now I better understand how the equipment works; the snow was warm, pure corn snow, which slowed me down (that's a good thing); and it was pure joy to glide down the slope. We did several runs on the bunny slope, then I graduated to the longer lift and had time for one long easy run.

I didn't get any video taken this time, but I'm sure it looked much the same as last year, so you can always revisit last year's video:

The entire staff at Bromley Mountain is terrific. Nancy, my instructor, and Jason, her teenage assistant, were warm, attentive and gave me helpful tips to improve my technique. They were aways right beside me when I took a tumble. They respected my request to try to do things on my own but were right there when I needed help. Joe, the manager of the adaptive program at Bromley, was also very accommodating and offered useful advice about finding my own gear, and invited all of us to return again. Bromley has a terrific team! (And they're all volunteers.)

1 comment:

  1. It's lovely to see how all that positive energy you put into the Adaptive Sports Association here is coming back to you Brenda - I know you (and I) never thought you'd be in this situation but something feels really "right" about you enjoying skiing again with a similar program. xx