Monday, February 27, 2012
On Saturday I was skiing with two good friends at Pico Mountain. Vermont got real snow, powder in fact, so my timing was perfect. I had the absolute best time Saturday. Good friends and real snow--what more could one ask for. I am somewhat embarrassed by the short video clip. I have never seen myself ski before. Yikes, I am a duffer for sure. No one will mistake me for a paraolympian or top notch mono skier! Regardless, I have fun and thoroughly enjoy the work out skiing provides. I also got to see an emergency evacuation of a ski lift. Serious stuff I hope to never experience.
On the drive home from Vermont I continued to think about the social significance of adaptive skiing. It is such an ego boost to ski. There is without question a cool factor associated with being an adaptive skier. Being cool and being paralyzed are usually polar opposites. I am still not sure what to make of this phenomenon. Is the cool factor associated with adaptive skiing a modified version of being a super cripple? It does not feel like this at all. Some I have talked to think the positive reception is a measure of respect--I am skiing and enjoying life regardless of my disability. Perhaps others sense i have overcome a physical crisis and social obstacles. Regardless, i wonder about those people with a disability that cannot ski. Is my body in spite of being mostly paralyzed a privileged body? This gets back to the variation on the supper cripple theme. My gut tells me this is not the case. I also wonder about all those that would love to ski but simply cannot afford to get to the mountain. Yes, adaptive programs do the best they can to make skiing affordable but there is only so much they can do. What about those with a disability that cannot afford transportation or simply spend the money on gas required to get to the mountain. In thinking about skiing I wish others with a disability could get the same rush I do. I do not want to be alone on the slopes. I want all who desire to enjoy a day on the slopes to be so empowered. Life is such a gift. It should be enjoyed as I was able to this weekend.