Monday, February 28, 2011

The Ski Doodle

This past weekend we all went to Massanutten in Harrisonburg, VA. Elena went adaptive skiing--this was a new experience for all of us, as none of us were really sure what to expect.

E had been super excited all week--to the point of exhausting herself. She'd also been sick all last week, so her energy/patience/stamina were down...I was a little worried about our trip. But--everyone had a GREAT time!

Snow girls


Waiting for Skis/boots


We were referred to this resort b/c the ski instructor was the husband of one of our "subsitute" PTs. Mr. Mark was AWESOME! He was very encouraging to Elena, and she immediately took to him.

E and Mr. Mark on the way to the lift


Mr. Mark helped Elena ski, having her be as independent (and successful) as possible. She would stand up as best she could--Mark having her bear weight as long as she was in control of her body. E is a "four-track" skier; she has "outriggers", which are like lofstrand crutches with runners on the bottom--and a pick on the back (as a brake) in addition to her skis. She also had something called a "trombone" on her skis--a bracket attachment to allow her skis to slide, but preventing them from coming too far apart or crossing over one another. Note she can stand up on skis when stationary. She also skied independently (under close supervision) for a few feet (less than 10 feet, I think) which was really fantastic (I didn't get to see it; it was on the flat part at the top of the hill).

E made it to the bottom of the bunny hill!


On the lift to the bigger hill! I thought she would be scared of the lift...it is kind of monstrous. She loved it. She said she wasn't scared at all!


E goes down the bigger hill. This is a long video--taken about halfway through the hill, where she nearly fell over. It's a pretty long ride!


E went down 3-4 times on Saturday. Mr. Mark said that was pretty age-appropriate, regardless of ability. We all went to the condo, ate lunch, and napped. E was worn out.

The next day was the Independence Cup--a Race Day for anyone who had completed an adaptive skiing program. We just happened to be lucky with our choice of weekend; Elena was very excited to race! It was wonderful to see the other skiers--some in wheelchairs, some were blind skiers; we even saw some familiar faces from our therapy center. Elena was the youngest skier at The Cup; she was also the smallest. Undaunted, she was psyched and loved the encouraging crowd!

As a bonus--Mr. Mark brought little skis for Vivian, whose only desire was to go on the ski lift with the big kids. While that was a no-go, she did get to wear her skis and was VERY proud of herself!

Just Like Sissy




Getting ready for the race!


Here is one of E's timed runs--they are moving pretty darn fast! Check out E's grin at the end--she is LOVING IT!


At the end of E's races, Viv was out of patience--so we headed home before the awards ceremony. We were sad to miss it. Mr. Mark said he had a medal for Elena--E is so proud of herself! I'll get a picture and post it.

Overall, a great weekend--a wonderful resort, a great occasion, and amazing instruction and staff. We'll definitely be back!

8 comments:

Amy said...

What a wonderful experience! I loved the smile on Elena's face at the end of the fast trip down the hill. She did an awesome job.

Mo said...

Can't wait to give this a whirl in a couple of years!! Yay Elena!!

Anonymous said...

HEY AMY
I USED TO SKI AND I LOVED IT.. I HAD TO STOP BECAUSE THEY CLOSED THE PROGRAM HERE AND I DO NOT DRIVE SO I HAD TO STOP!

I STARTED OUT SKIING WITH A SIMILAR ATTAHMENT A SKI BAR WOULD GO ON BOTH ENDS AND HAVE A STRING IN THE MIDDLE(SO MY SKIES WOULD MOVE MORE THEN ELENA'S)

AS I GOT OLDER NAD STRONGER AND COULD CONTROL MY BODY MORE THEY TOOK THAT AWAY.. I ALSO STARTED OUT GOING BETWEEN SOMEONE'S LEGS ALSO AND A TETHER(THAT ROPE BEHIND HER) THAT BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES I TELL YA..

I AM SO JEALOUS I WISH I WAS WITH YOU GUYS :-) LET ME NOT FORGET LITTLE VIVAN OH HOW CUTE WAS THAT!

THANKYOU AMY

MELISSA

Sarah said...

E's MUCH braver than I am. This just proves it.

Kat said...

Love this post, the pics and most of all the vids. You're awesome, Elena, my little skier! :)

caryanne said...

Awesome! Thanks so much for posting this! We're hoping to take Ben and Daniel skiing next year. Way to go E!

Kat said...

I love this post, the pics and most of all the videos!!! You are awesome, Elena, my little skier! :) Good job, girls :)

Anonymous said...

AMAZING THAT SHE CAN STAND AND SKI! I had to ski in the bucket thing like for adaptive skiing which was a blast too! I could never stand on skis though. Go Elena!