I’ve been back from the October camp in Hintertux, Austria for about a week which I’ve mainly spent in the Back Up office catching up on work. It’s been a productive week where I’ve spoken to lots of newly injured service users, referring many of whom to mentoring or courses. It’s often a difficult time after leaving hospital following injury but I remember well, the support I received from Back Up, and am glad to be helping provide some of that support. I’m always madly enthusiastic about some of the courses, namely the ski course I went on a year post injury, unfortunately, it’s mostly oversubscribed though so people aren’t always guaranteed a place. I’ll be out in Winter Park when the course participants come out next year (as I have been for the past couple of years) and it’s a great experience to watch them learn and grow, as well as often see a love of skiing unfold!
I had a brilliant time on the last camp. I was excited as I finished the September camp on a good note and was looking forward to see where I’d be after the next one. The first couple of days were a little sketchy with lots of fresh snow and low visability (something I’m not used to having been accustomed to the bluebird days of Colorado), but within a few days I was back on form. We spent quite a lot of time out of gates and learning to be more progressive in my turns, not skidding, and carving the whole turn. I’m feeling happy with the way I’m skiing which does seem quite a long way from the way I was skiing at the end of last season.
I want to say a huge thank you to those who supported me for this camp. I wore my new Sto Snow ski pants with so much pride. They are absolutely gorgeous – soft and furry on the inside, with a really flattering shape, perfectly fitting over my too-large ski boots. I’m a massive fan and really suggest anyone in need of a new pair take a look at their website: www.stosnow.com. Thanks to those who helped me fund it too – its very much appreciated.
I am so grateful to the great coaches, particularly Dougie Mill, who is eternally patient (something I really lack!), an absolute expert skier, and great teacher. He really knows how to get the best from people, and has taught me so much. His advice is like gold dust! He’ll be the invitational athletes’ coach in Landgraaf next month which I’m really looking forward to, expecially with the IPCAS slalom race directly following the camp. I feel confident that he’ll prepare us well and I’ll put up a good fight in the race!
I’m still spending time on the lake while I can. It’ll be my last few weeks as I’m really not good at tolerating the cold. I remember waterskiing last autumn and having to come out of the lake onto the boat mid-set because I couldn’t cope with the cold. The coach & driver were worried I was getting hypothermia! It’s got to be said that at that stage I was spending a lot more time in the water than on it! That’s happily changed! My wetsuit has also changed, sensibly!
Yesterday I took down some friends to the lake, having been banging on about how great it was so much. Two of them skied for the first time and both really got the hang of it which was really good to see. I think they’re definte converts. One also remarked on the atmosphere at Heron Lake; how welcoming everyone was and what a good vibe it has. That’s certainly something that keeps me coming back. I can’t wait till next summer to go down and hang out in the sunshine and get some more water-skiing done. I’m now skiing in the course and more consistently than ever getting round all the buoys – it’s a great feeling!
I’ll write again soon – I’ve got something exciting coming up in a couple of weeks so stay tuned to hear more!