In Kelly’s Words – Skiing with Naomi (and flashbacks!)
Learning how to monoski is really hard. It’s a completely different feeling than skiing standing up. All the little adjustments that you make from core, to hips, to thighs, to knees, to ankles, to the bottom of your foot—just inches off the snow—ends for me at my sternum.
A couple weeks ago we hosted a “Ski with Kelly” at Sugarbush with an idea as simple as: “let’s get a bunch of supporters and grant recipients together and go skiing”! The weather wasn’t ideal (though the snow conditions were great, kudos to Sugarbush!), but we had a great group turn out. In total we had 7 monoskier with a huge range of ability, from Chris Devlin-Young, one of the greatest living monoskiers, to relative beginners like Naomi, a 2016 KBF Grant Recipient who is skiing for only her second winter (and doing really well!).
Watching Naomi ski felt like stepping into a time machine. I could literally have been watching myself ski the first couple years. The instability, the anxiety when I felt like other monoskiers were watching me, the constant falls when I was on a steep section of a trail. The whole experience of watching her ski brought me back to when I was first learning. Even her skiing style, how her head would tip into the hill and she leaned forward as she was starting her turn, reminded me of myself when I was starting.
But let me be clear: Naomi was much braver and a quicker learner than I was! Being a 19-year-old college kid, I decided to just teach myself to monoski. That was a mistake and it took me a couple years before I really felt comfortable and independent. I’m sure I could have had a different experience if I went through an adaptive programs (like Vermont Adaptive or Spaulding Adaptive Sports, who both helped us out with the “Ski With Kelly”), but hindsight is always 20/20, right?! Naomi is on a much better track!
Naomi – if you’re reading this, you’re doing great! Can’t wait to ski with you next time and we’ll have you ready for that trip to Whistler in no time!
We have a crawler! She was a little late to the game with crawling, but you won’t hear complaints from Zeke or me! Now that it’s game on, it has been really fun to watch her crawl around and explore her surroundings, but we’ve realized how much we need to baby proof! So many low shelves with books, papers, or knick-knacks (obviously things are on low shelves for me!). She also loves our dog’s water dish! Both Zeke and I have commented that seeing her crawling makes her seem so much more grown up. She is still very smiley and happy (most of the time!) and watching her explore and learn about her world is so much fun!