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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Adaptive skiing lesson 5

Oh my goodness! I am still on a high from last night's skiing lesson! For the first time, last night, I really believed that one day I will be on the slopes with Neil and the lads, doing my favourite holiday thing.

Let's just go back four years. It was October 2012 and the first slopes had just opened in Levi. The boys were desperate to get out there and I wanted to know whether I would be able to ski at all. So off we went. They bought their ski passes and hit the lifts. I went over to Lastenmaa (children's world) where the slopes are easy. I tried but half way up on the lift, I was in agony and I couldn't ski down. I had no control over my left leg at all and my back and calves were killing! I went back to the car and sat and cried and cried for ages. I felt stupid! People in the third world are starving. We were supporting a friend who had lost both her children as a result of human trafficking. Not being able to ski was really not a big deal. It made no sense. But of all the things I lost through cauda equina syndrome, that was the one that hit me hardest.

So, back to last night. After my last lesson, I felt like I was making some progress and would be able to eventually ski with a ski buddy, on tethers... which is better than nothing. So I started thinking, what would I need to do to ski independently and there are some things I figured I would have to learn to do:

  • get into the sitski and fasten myself in
  • move myself around on the flat (to get to lifts, etc)
  • do the lifts myself
I was really excited when I arrived because Adam showed me a new lift gadget they had bought, which would make the lifts much easier and almost independent. That was great! Except that it wouldn't work, so we had to use the old kit. Shame, but they'll probably fix it for next time.

I had a go at moving myself around before we set off up the lift but I couldn't get the hang of it. When we were at the top, each time though, I practised... and now I can do it! By the end of the lesson, I could move myself forwards and backwards and turn around. 

As usual, I got our extra helper - Dan (I think but I'm awful with names) - who was by far the best helper we've had so far, to video one of my runs. Here it is...

I can't wait for my next lesson! I can really see the possibility of complete independence now. So what else do I want to learn, apart from continuing to practise my turns? Well for independence - as in, no tethers - I've got to think safety. So the next thing I have to learn, is to stop mid-run. If I was on a proper piste and something happened, I would need to be able to stop immediately and help out. I guess the other obvious thing is to be able to get upright again without help if I fall over. 

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