When the weather turns cold around November, I always think about one thing … skiing. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve skied, but I know if I clicked into a pair of skis now, it would all come back to me.
I first learned to ski in 2001, when I was about 21. I always say to people that I was a late bloomer when it came to trying outdoor activities. And, as I think about it now, my skiing experience really opened the doors for my real adventures side to come out. I don’t know if it’s the same for others remembering their first time trying something new, but I can vividly remember my first time skiing.
I was excited throughout the entire experience. Truth be told, after getting all the ski gear on, excitement quickly turned into panic. I had a moment of doubt. I don’t know if it was because of my disability or the fear of breaking something or simply wondering if I could actually do it. There was a split second where I wanted to back out, but luckily my excitement over ruled my fear. That and the fact that I had already paid.
I’m sure a lot of people will understand when I say this, but if I didn’t go through with it I would’ve regretted it. It’s not in my nature to quit or back out of something at the last minute. Fortunately, my experience with adaptive skiing was a success. Not because I did well for a beginner, but because I set my goal to do it and I did it.
After that, I was hooked! And that was the beginning of my love for outdoor activities. Adaptive skiing really opened the recreational doors for me. I was not aware of all of the opportunities for people like me, with physical disabilities. Adaptive recreational activities did exist, but I just never knew about them.
Skiing is my first love and it led to trying other activities, such as kayaking, rock climbing and snowboarding. Now, I’m always looking for a new adventure.
If you would like to try adaptive skiing or want to learn more about adaptive ski programs, below are some great resources.
- National Sports Center for the Disabled
- Steamboat Adaptive Ski Program
- Adaptive Adventures
- Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center
- Challenge Aspen
- The Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte
*Note: many states will have an adaptive ski program.