I find that I appreciate sports a lot more than I did before my injury. Which is saying a lot because my life before my injury was all sports: an NCAA ski racer; graduate of a ski academy; my mother was an Olympian; my father a former college football player and skier and then coach. As I always tell people when they ask why we started the KBF, I thought after my accident that I would never be an “athlete” again. Then I learned about adaptive sports and what I could still do. Sports are inclusive; I don’t feel different or excluded. This is huge for everyone in the disabled community and one of the missions of the KBF.
Well almost 11 years after my injury, I experienced a new one over the holidays: hockey. And being included was incredible!
My parents have a pond in their back yard that we used to skate on in the winter as kids. Over the last several years since my sister moved back to Vermont and then we did this past summer, we have started maintaining the ice again. But in the years since my injury, I could never skate. I went on it with my wheelchair a couple times and a few times sat on a sled and my family pulled me around. But I wasn’t skating and often I stayed inside and watched because I was cold just sitting not doing anything active.
This winter, though, my parents gifted me a hockey sled for Christmas! I had never tried it and always thought it looked hard! When I got in it for the first time it was simple and amazing! I use two small hockey sticks that have picks on the end to push myself around on the ice. Now I’m out on the pond skating with my family, passing the puck around, and pulling Dylan or my nephews in a sled behind me. It has been a while since I have played a new sport but it felt great to just be out on the ice with everyone again.
To be clear, we’re skiers, not hockey players. It must be really funny for good skaters to watch us all out there fumbling around in ski helmets, but that’s what makes it so fun!
Now, what do I say to Patrick Standen of Northeast Disabled Athletic Association who’s been recruiting me to get on the ice for the Vermont Sled Cats for years?!?!
We have had our first real illness! She has had colds throughout the fall but she usually felt fine, they were just mild coughs and a runny nose. And we even had a little bit of a stomach bug with some vomiting and diarrhea a couple months ago. But last week she had her first high fever (up to 104) and was a really unhappy and miserable looking kid. Being a pediatric nurse practitioner I see sick kids every day and assess what is going on with them and what to worry about. This helped a lot…. Well, kind of…. It’s extremely hard to be objective with my own kid, but the knowledge helps. It has been a long road with fever, coughing, vomiting, an ear infection, and a kid who won’t sleep or eat well, but I think we are on the other side of it now. It’s sad to see Dylan so miserable but she was also very cute and cuddly so that made it just a little bit better. As all experiences with Dylan, I hope this will make me a better and more empathetic nurse practitioner!