It’s time to start catching you all up on what’s been happening this month. It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything but I’m finally getting the time to take care of it.
At the beginning of the month I was able to attend the Winter Ski Festival with the United States Association of Blind Athletes in Breckenridge, Colorado. I went to this event last year and was really excited to be allowed to come back.
The camp is essentially two days of alpine skiing/snowboarding and one day of nordic or cross country skiing. For those of you who know me well you know I wouldn’t choose skis over a snowboard. They let everyone pick what they wanted to do and after teaming us up with guides from the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) we headed to the lifts!
Matt was my guide and I told him I was pretty comfortable with it so we started off going down a few different green runs. You might be surprised at how easy it is once you nail the technique! I always thought I was good at snowboarding before I lost my sight but I realize now that I didn’t have any finely tuned skills. Fortunately this trip changed that!
This trip was easily ten times better than the last one. We spent a little more time honing the skills and working technique and by the second day, not trying to brag, I was killing it! The snow was coming down hard and powder was piled up all over the place but it still didn’t stop me from flying down some blue runs and having the time of my life! If this is something you’ve never tried you are absolutely missing out and you need to do it! Pick me up on the way would you?
A lot of you saw last years video paid for by the sponsor of this camp Anthem Life. They shot another one but I’m still waiting for it to come out. I’ll be sure to share it when it’s out. If you missed the video from last year click on the media link and you’ll find it there. I’m much better now though so don’t judge me from that video.
There was really only one thing that didn’t go as planned. Down toward the bottom of the runs they put up big signs that say SLOW warning people that they are coming up on the lift lines and they need to take it easy. For whatever reason they put two of these signs right in the middle of the run and mount them to two poles stuck in the snow.
Matt and I were coming down and he decided to thread the needle, something I absolutely would have approved of if he would have asked! Well it didn’t go quite as planned. I was on my heel edge and he called out toe so I shifted over and started turning, not quite enough though.
He called out for me to turn more and before I had any idea what was going on I was rolling head over heels, backwards down the hill.
Somehow during my fall I was able to identify what it was I was falling through. As I landed on my rear I sat up laughing knowing how awesome it must have looked to see a blind guy plow through the middle of one of their signs.
The best part is that the camera crew got it all on tape and they said they’d get it to me. I’m seriously hoping they keep their word because I really want you guys to see it.
Other than that epic crash things almost went as planned. Being from Texas I forgot the importance of chapstick though and by the end of the first day my lips were killing me and peeling like crazy.
Fortunately, I brought chapstick and carmex so I was good to go. I took the chapstick out the second day and used it quite liberally. By the end of the day though it really hadn’t made any difference so I just kept packing it on.
During our biathlon race on the third day I was standing in the sun with Matt, just hanging out, still coating my lips with chaptcick.
“Dude what kind of chapstick do you use?” he asked me.
“I have no idea. I just grabbed this out of my dresser drawer. Why?” I replied.
“Your lips are totally covered in glitter!” he said bursting out laughing.
I pulled the chapstick out of my pocket as I wiped my lips on my glove and when I showed him I learned that it was Hello Kitty Glittery Lip Gel that apparently a daughter of mine stuck inside my drawer. It’s no wonder the stuff wasn’t helping my lips at all! Glitter doesn’t moisturize people, trust me.
Needless to say the trip was an absolute blast and the three days went by in a flash. There was more snow than I have ever seen before! It’s always so nice to go do something awesome with other blind and visually impaired people. It’s fun to share stories about blindness and some of the strange things that happen to us because of it, like getting locked in bathrooms and wearing glitter lip gel. Life is never dull.
I want to thank everyone with the United States Association of Blind Athletes, the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and Anthem Life for putting this event together and making it a huge success. There are more stories I could share but I’m going to save them for another time.
Thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing! Now go do something awesome.