This weekend, I once again headed up to New Hampshire with our adaptive ski program, compliments of New England Disabled Sports (NEDS).
I was feeling a bit scattered and flaky on Friday, and it took me about 6 tries to actually get on the road. First, I forgot my Ugg boots (say what you will, they are super cozy and warm. I love them). When I came back to get them, I left my wallet. I came back for the wallet and somehow turned on the outside light. I went back and shut out the light and finally made it out. I stopped, gassed up, and hit the road. When I stopped at a rest area, I noticed that I left my gas cap at the gas station when gassing up. So I bought another at the rest area. When I arrived at the hotel, I realized I had forgotten both my ski boots and my helmet. I'm just glad my head is permanently attached to my body. Otherwise I probably would have left that behind, as well.
This weekend, I got to assist and try out three track skiing. Three track skiing is the style used by amputees. It consists of skiing on one ski with two outriggers (specialized poles with a forearm cuff and mini skis on the ends). When skiing on two skis, you point yourself down the hill and make turns essentially by shifting your weight from one leg to the other leg. In three track, your turns are initiated by bending and straightening your one knee while shifting from the outside to the inside edge of the ski and using the outriggers for balance. It's hard! And what's more, is that you can't get by with sloppy technique, which is what I generally do on two skis. You really need to keep your weight forward over the ski tip and keep your shoulders pointed down the hill.
I don't know how those guys do it! (I cheated by putting my other leg down when we stopped to let my skiing leg rest. The disabled skiiers didn't have that option!) Plus, with 9 inches of fresh powder on Saturday (sah-weet!) the quads had and even bigger workout!
Once again, I am in awe of the amazing athletes I've been spending the weekends with.
On my last run down, I learned a lesson of a different sort. The official lessons end at 3:00, but the lift tickets are good until 4:00. So a couple of us decided to get another run or two in. I had to return the helmet I had borrowed from NEDS for the day, but figured I'd be fine. (I skied for years without ever THINKING of using a helmet!) Plus, we'd be doing a nice, easy leisurely green circle all the way down.
Unfortuneately, on the last, helmetless run down, one of our beginner skiiers went a little out of control and collided with me. His helmeted head smashed into the back of my helmetless head -- hard -- before I fell sideways and hit my head on the snow -- hard -- and then ricocheted back into his helmet. Hard.
My head really hurts this week.