Tyler Schilhabel: The WAS Difference

The plain and simple fact is that I came to WAS with the hope of becoming an independent skier, but I have received so much more than that. I am more independent in all aspects of my life and most importantly I am a happier person because WAS allows me to leave my disability behind and live life without limits.

When I first got affiliated with Wasatch Adaptive Sports, I didn’t know what to expect. I had worked with a few other adaptive programs and my experience had been good, but not great. I felt like I was just passed off as another client wanting a quick thrill on the slopes and left to go on my way. I immediately found out that this would not be the case when it came to WAS.

Between my relentless drive for wanting to become an independent monoskier and Peter and Alex’s ambition to be the best instructors they can be, I knew I would be set up for success. Although Peter had his initial doubts about my ability to be in a mono, it only took one run to alleviate those doubts and from there on we never looked back. For the first time, I was able to ski without being tethered. I finally had instructors who cared enough and had the confidence in my ability to become independent in my skiing.

Every instructor I have ever worked with at WAS has listened to my goals and have actively helped me to achieve them in whatever way they could help. This is why WAS means so much to me. I came to them to try to become a better skier and ultimately ended up with a group of friends who I consider to be like a family to me. Being from California and living out here on my own with no family, most of my social interaction comes from being involved with WAS, whether that be skiing or biking or hanging out with instructors off the clock. WAS employees and volunteers have a deep desire and love for the people who they help and see any adaptive athlete as another human being who just likes to shred or bike in a different way. That is what draws everybody in to the program, to have the ability to leave your disability at the door and get away for a few hours up at the Bird or down at Liberty Park and just live. Whether you come to WAS to be more active or to challenge yourself, they have the tools and people necessary to help you accomplish your goals.

Being involved in sports has always been my outlet from life and it is no different now that I am disabled, actually it is even more so now that I am disabled. To have the opportunity to forget myself and the daily struggles of dealing with my disability for a few hours whenever I am with WAS is my saving grace. I know I would not be in the place I am today if not for Wasatch Adaptive Sports. They have helped me become a better skier and a healthier, more active person. They helped lead me to doing my first triathlon and first organized competition since my accident. They provided me the opportunity to meet people like Coach Whittingham and ultimately put me in the position to help get the job that I now have with Utah Football. The plain and simple fact is that I came to WAS with the hope of becoming an independent skier, but I have received so much more than that. I am more independent in all aspects of my life and most importantly I am a happier person because WAS allows me to leave my disability behind and live life without limits.

I want to thank all of the instructors at WAS who have worked with me, especially Alex and Peter. Thank you to Elizabeth for all of her hard work that she puts in behind the scenes to help WAS run the way it does. And last but certainly not least, thank you so much to all of the generous donors who provide the means for me and many others to do the things that we love at little or no cost at all. It would not be possible without them.

With Gratitude,

Tyler Schilhabel

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Contact

Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
9385 S, Snowbird Center Dr.
Snowbird, Utah, 84092-9000

Phone: (801) 933-2188

Fax: (801) 935-8338

info@wasatchadaptivesports.org

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