When I was 55 years old on August 24th, 2015 while on vacation in Steamboat Springs Colorado, I had a mountain biking accident. Before the accident, all my outdoor recreation revolved around mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and snowboarding. I had been skiing for the previous 40 years and I would try to go backcountry skiing or snowboarding every time it snowed more than 10 inches. I was what people call a powder snob. I wouldn’t ski or snowboard unless it was fresh powder. I also rode mountain bikes for the previous 28 years 3 times a week during the spring, summer, and fall.
I remember thinking while I was in the hospital for 3 months that I would never be able to enjoy the things that I enjoyed the most again. I’m a C 6-7 complete quadriplegic, and everything I looked up on the Internet like hand-cycling and sit-skiing never had any quadriplegics pictured, they were always paraplegics or amputees. So, I thought I would never be able to participate in my favorite outdoor recreation again. During the spring of 2016, I was able to try handcycling at Liberty Park and realized this was something that I was going to be able to do, and do well, with some modifications to the handcycle so that the handcycle would work much better for me and other quadriplegics. Now I handcycle year-round at least once a week. Last year, I rode a total of 2,500 miles with the help of power assist, an 80-mile ride in the Summit Challenge in Park City, and a 110-mile ride on the Golden Spoke Trail. This year, with the help of Wasatch Adaptive Sports and their new Indoor Cycling Class I’m able to ride even if the weather is bad.
During the fall of 2016, I was told by Wasatch Adaptive Sports that I would be able to ski again in a Kart-ski, so I gave it a try. For me, it was just too easy and boring skiing in a Kart-ski. Then, I was able to try sit-skiing and that was a much better fit for me. And now, I sit-ski almost every week during the ski season.
Because of Wasatch Adaptive Sports and other programs that are similar I’ve been able to do the things that I enjoyed so much again. With the help of their employees and volunteers, life is so much better not just physically but also mentally. I look forward to each time that I’m able to sit-ski or handcycle and be able to communicate with them and others that participate that are in similar circumstances as I am.
My wife is my full-time caregiver and like all the other caregivers out there I know it’s a tough job. These opportunities for me to be able to get out of the house and go do things that I enjoy also give her a break. She can use the time I am away to go do things that she needs to do and get accomplished and go do the other things that she enjoys doing. That way we’re both in a lot better mood and life doesn’t seem all down.
Thanks to everyone for all you do for me and everyone in the disabled community that takes advantage of these types of programs, thanks for the help, and friendship!
Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
9385 S, Snowbird Center Dr.
Snowbird, Utah, 84092-9000