Last weekend, Friends of Stowe Adaptive, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Center, and the Kelly Brush Foundation co-hosted a monoski day at Stowe, where 15 monoskiers braved the cold weather to ski together. The only downside to being pregnant this winter is that I’m not skiing. But getting over that one little detail, we still brought a great group of KBF community members and other monoskiers together to hang out, socialize, and to talk monoskiing.

While most everyone in a wheelchair has an independent streak and desire to assert some identity outside of the spinal cord injury (SCI) community, some of the most helpful and enjoyable times are spending time with other people with SCI. We mostly just hang out and socialize like anyone else. But more than that, we talk about things that you have to be a member of the club to understand. These are usually little things, but things we deal with everyday. Comparing notes about what others do in similar situations can be so helpful, even 13 years later!

A when we get a crew like this together, the conversation often starts and ends with monoskiing.

Most people go through an adaptive sports program to learn how to monoski. Think of it like the rental shop and ski school. Then people who find a passion for it move on to getting their own ski and skiing independently with family and friends.

But when I learned how to ski, I did things a little differently. I had been this big shot ski racer, I was still at school at Middlebury where the college owns a ski mountain 20 minutes from campus, and I was surrounded by all my friends and family, who were all skiers. Who needs a program, we’ll figure it out! This is definitely the harder (and not recommended!) route.

It means that when I get with other monoskiers I have tons of questions about how they ski, equipment they use, how they set up their equipment, etc. Talking to my family and friends and applying principles of my old abled-bodied skiing is helpful, but the real world advice and experiences that we, as monoskiers, can share is priceless (sorry Zeke….).

Inevitably, when we got together this past weekend at Stowe, we started to talk about everyday life things as well, like pants that are easy to get on while sitting in a wheelchair, wheelchair tips, gloves to wear in the winter that work well for wheelchairs, and always a common topic, bathroom stuff! Even when there are people that I don’t know very well, having the shared experience of having an SCI makes for an unspoken bond and understanding in a lot of areas of life. This past weekend was the same. It was wonderful to get so many KBF community members and supporter together but even more fun to just hang out and share stories!

Here are some pictures from the weekend! And check out Facebook and our Instagram Story for videos!

Dylan and Baby #2 Update

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant and feeling like time is flying by! In a lot of ways this second pregnancy has been so much more relaxed and I haven’t needed to do much to prepare. But now I’m starting to feel some urgency. We are hoping to get the nursery set up in the next few weeks, which will go a long way in helping me to feel more ready. One of the wonderful things about having another girl is that we can reuse all of Dylan’s old clothes for the new baby. Because of that I feel much less urgency to buy more clothes, but I still need to pull the old clothes out of the basement and get everything organized.

Dylan continues to be so much fun and such a goofball. We recently switched her out of her crib (that the baby will use eventually) and into a “big girl bed”. We were worried about how the transition would go, but like so many other things, the dread was much worse than the reality. She has gone to sleep fine (maybe even better than in her crib) and stayed in her bed all night before calling to us in the morning to get her out (even though she can climb in and out on her own). I’m sure we will have some problems eventually, but for now, she has been doing great with this change!