After returning to the UK at the end of March, it now feels as though I've been back for ages and am well and truly settled back into London life. Not long after recovering from travelling (not only back to London but having flown to Boston and back for US Nationals a matter of days before) I gained and started working at Back Up in their office, as Outreach and Support Coordinator.
Since then I've been busy travelling up and down to Sheffield and Pinderfields spinal units where we've been running various sessions for newly injured patients. I got back last night from one in Sheffield called Join the Dots where a group of inpatients, hospital staff, myself and two wheelchair skills trainers go around the city, practicing different skills, to help with the different challenges you face every day in a wheelchair such as going up and down curbs. Yesterday one brave inpatient even followed the skills trainer's lead as he ventured up an escalator! Not without a nurse closely behind him though!
Now that the sun is showing its face again I've started regularly going back to Heron Lake to waterski. I did earlier in April but got very cold, (it has taught me something about the side effects my disability and my inability to regulate temperature - not much fun!) so having bought a thicker 'triathlon' wetsuit for myself, I am much happier in the water! I'm making some good progress, with the help of a 'delgar' strap that keeps my legs and body more forwards and stable, which helps me get up onto the water more easily. I'm now using the Bushey ski which is narrower and therefore more twitchy in the water, more difficult, but a lot of fun. I've been practicing going through the 'slalom course' where you have to go round the buoys that are set out. Its definitely good practice for slalom in snow skiing! Although you have to lean in to make a turn (which is effectively the opposite to snow skiing), it still works your body and any core I have, in a way that other sports don't!
Despite the struggle to get in and out of a wetsuit when you can't move your legs (wouldn't recommend it!) waterskiing is so much fun and I can't get enough! I'm looking forward to some sunny days down there this summer. It's a great place to just hang out.
I'm looking forward to an Access Adventures camp (accessadventures.co.uk) next weekend with some friends some of whom will be trying it out for the first time. It'll be a busy weekend as I'm going up to the Snozone in Milton Keynes for some ski race training with ParaSnowsportGB on Saturday morning, leaving at 5.15am!