Sunday, January 28, 2024

Adapting to Skiing - Week of Jan. 22nd

"If I can do this, I can do anything!" ~motto of the ASA-WM

Before Cam's first time hitting the slopes this season, he had an unexpected snow day on Tuesday.  A combination of freezing rain, snow and sleet produced a weather advisory until 4pm.

On Wednesday, the roads were clear once again and school was back in session.  Cam finished up tutoring with Ms. Ann in the early evening and had a quick dinner.  Jane and son were off to power soccer practice since Chris was a bit delayed with a meeting.  Cam's mom had to laugh that on her "watch" the front guard came off the chair and two other dads were enlisted to assist with positioning it back in place.

Once Cam's dad arrived at practice, all of the background information was provided as he explained the entire situation during a break in the action.

We were anticipating our weekend activity at our local ski resort, Cannonsburg.  Their opening day was very delayed with Thursday, Jan. 18 being the first official start of their season.  There have been years when they have opened in November!  Our delayed snowfall definitely affected their options.
Thanks to Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Sports program, we learned about the adaptive ski organization a few years ago.

Adaptive Ski Association of West Michigan (ASAWM) is a volunteer organization located in West Michigan, working to provide opportunities for people with a variety of challenges and disabilities to enjoy snow sports. The organization was established in the early 1980s as Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association (CCSA). CCSA started with only ten students, one outrigger, a bamboo pole and one sit ski, and has now evolved over the years into a professionally trained organization with a full range of adaptive equipment, ready to serve a wide variety of needs. In 2022, the name was changed to Adaptive Ski Association of West Michigan (ASAWM).

Sunday was our first session after two cancellations due to the lack of snow.  Our team leader was Jason, who was with us last year in the same position.  Jessie, a med student and lifetime skier was new to ASAWM and excited to be a part of it all.  Chris completed the official volunteer training to be assigned to Cam's team as well.  Jane was allowed to ski with the team as an extra blocker.  

The ski Cam uses is referred to as a bi-ski.  When lifting up the back, the spring holds it in a vertical position to allow movement onto the chairlift.  Cam is in the middle of the chair shown in the picture.  Jason is skiing behind Cam in the picture guiding him down the hill.  Cam leans left or right depending on the turns.  The milder weather was a welcome relief for the skiers, but the conditions were not ideal.  The slopes were more slushy than fluffy and even with that aspect, we all had a great time.  Cam had a couple of spills, but neither were major and the picture of the whole team was immediately following one of those wipeouts.  On our drive home, Cam told us, "I was nervous at first, but then I really had fun!"

Camology Quotes:

Jane shared some exciting news about dear friends in North Carolina.  When she said in passing that Ali was working as a nurse now, Cam mentioned that his mom did not tell him when she graduated from nursing school and passed her boards. Jane apologized to which Cam responded with: "I respect that, Mom.  We all forget sometimes."

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